Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Writing Plan

The main problem in writing a book is that I lose focus and I am not organized. But I somehow am able to journalize or write daily by blogging. So I realize that blogging may serve as a way to write a book. I have tried many tools and there are a lot of interesting stuff out there like mind mapping, new novelist, various Internet options like Google Sites (to organize data) or even Google Docs to contain the actual writing. But none of these tools could provide a comprehensive environment to write although new novelist comes close. I think the main challenge is to have all the sources of one’s research in one location especially a portal or link to various Internet sites which have this information.

So I realize that the best writing environment is in fact a blog. I could write every day in a mix of actual writing or thoughts about the specific book. I could store all my writing online and I could have access to them using any computer. Hence I could work anywhere because my writing is stored in the Internet ‘cloud’. I could also post pictures, videos or links to Internet sites to help me in my research. So blogging seems to be the best environment to write a book. To make sure I have no distractions, perhaps I will keep the book private or to a limited audience. But I guess the blog will be the first draft of the novel. In other words, a tool to get my ideas out in a rush to complete my self-expression. I even think this concept would be interesting to monthly writing events like NanoWrimo.

Of course, this would not mean that other tools will not be used. I think new novelist is good for guidance, initial brainstorming and organizing thoughts. So will other software like Novel Writer. Mind mapping is also a good tool for brainstorming by making associations to other ideas that would come up intuitively during the process. I mean following the principles of the book ‘Writing in the Right Side of the Brain.’ These tools would supplement the act of completing the first draft. I guess I would know if the first draft is completed with the feeling that I get once I have said all that I could say. Once the 1st draft is made, I guess the next step is to copy the draft into a writing tool like MS Word or Google Doc to clean and organized it.

Blogs have often morphed into a book but I intend to use it as a writing platform. There would be links on writing as well as to sites that have research or subject matter needed in the book. The question then is whether I would have a blog for each book or do I have a blog for all my writings. The links to other sites would change depending on the subject of the book. Perhaps this platform works for me because it combines both anonymity as well as public access. If purely a restricted personal site with out the ‘idea’ of public access or criticism, the blog may result in a neurotic self-indulgent rant. Public access provides self-control and self-censoring. So I guess a public blog would be good because it may provide the public as an editor for one’s work.

Perhaps a further use can be made by using the site to advertise my work to publishers. It would be an ideal venue to promote and sell the book. Now that would be an interesting subject. Other Internet sites do exist already to allow publishers to review work but the act of writing is solely outside the intended site. Hence, these sites do not help in the act of creation or writing. It means that the writing has been done and the completed work is posted on these sites like Scribd for publishers to review. I guess one can go to this additional step but one needs to make sure that a copy write or patent is completed so one's ideas are not stolen. But perhaps not a good idea with the recent trends on public collaboration and sharing and so on.

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