Six Years Ago on Xanga, Part II

I found the archive files from my very first Xanga account, which I started in August 2001 under the username JJDavis.

Here’s a post from 6 years ago, talking about a novel which I never finished, from a time right before right after I had my first novel accepted for publication:

Wednesday, August 29,

In retrospect, it’s pure comedy to observe the things I will
do in order to avoid progress on my
novels.  I think it’s due to a
combination of my compulsiveness and ADD.

Example:  Last night I
bought a program at Half-Priced Books, AutoSketch 6, to create maps for my two
colony worlds.  Then I spent a good
portion of last night duplicating my efforts, because I couldn’t import the map
I drew using Microsoft Word Draw.  I ask
myself why I’m doing this.  I can only
answer:  “I have no choice.”  There will be no forward progress unless it’s
done.  The fact that it makes no sense
doesn’t matter.  It’s a very strong
compulsion and I can’t avoid it – I must work through it.

My world building must be done in these steps:

  1. Create maps of the
  2. Write
    historical timelines of the planets.
  3. Name
    areas on the map using the history I just created.
  4. Write
    a detailed account of significant historical points.
  5. Update the map.
  6. Write
    the Cliff’s Notes of the local religions, etc.
  7. Update the map.
  8. Throw
    away most of the characters I’ve already created, because they no longer work.
  9. Create a new set of
    characters that are in line with the history.
  10. Create a high-level plot
    using history and the maps.
  11. Wind-up the characters
    and set them loose into the story.
  12. Record what happens.
  13. Update the map and the
    plot to fit what the characters have decided to do.

My recent problems have thrown me all the way back into the
map making stage.


4 thoughts on “Six Years Ago on Xanga, Part II

  1. That sounds like something I would do. Or used to do before I realized I never actually got any writing done. I’d always make this elaborate framework, but never flesh it out into an actual story. Probably one of the main reasons why I never attempt to write science-fiction anymore.

  2. Did you ever go back to the novel?  This is actually a really cool way to go about it though – mapping out the world and history and religions first – really creating the world, then a lot of the pyschology of your characters gets kind of filled in along the way.

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