From blinking cursor to published novel...

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Thread: From blinking cursor to published novel...

  1. #1

    From blinking cursor to published novel...

    Okay, this is something I do on twitter, so I thought I'd mirror it here in the forum.
    Essentially, as I write, I post screengrabs and pics of what I am doing.
    It's designed as a way for followers to get a peek at the factory floor, to see how an Indie book is built, from start to finish.
    New writers can see how it is done, and experienced writers can examine the process for insight into their own techniques.


    Sooooo...I am about to start a new book/series, and for the next year (or so) I'll be posting pics detailing my efforts.
    a) Readers are encouraged to comment/discuss freely.
    b) Feel free to share your own screenshots showing YOUR process; this thread is intended to be an open discussion (and a learning tool).

  2. #2
    I do a fair amount of research on my projects. I absolutely hate having a technical error exposed post-publishing, so I take great pains to be accurate.
    This is a map of the disaster zone for the next book.
    The people in the oval all died in their sleep.
    Everywhere else in the world people were starving to death (due to related issues)
    Starving refugees begin to backfill the disaster zone to raid the pantries there.
    This book takes place 6 years after that, when the people inside of the oval now have a thriving society.

    I spent yesterday researching the populations of these towns so I have an idea of how many pantries there would be to raid.
    I also researched the local industry in several of the bigger towns, so I know which ones may be mining or drilling for fossil fuels.
    Researching rivers and other surface water because that is where the people would initially go.
    Studying the terrain between the towns to determine where factional lines may occur, which towns would be hard to assault, which would be strategically most valuable.
    I still have a lot of work to do.
    The resources already in place will influence the plot.

    I also have to factor in how they will manage inside of the zone without any game or livestock (the burp killed EVERYTHING, even the bunny wabbits!)
    How long would it take for new game to repopulate the region?

    Last edited by Ralph Rotten; January 21st, 2019 at 03:16 PM.

  3. #3
    I have also bought some artwork for the project.
    A picture is worth a thousand words, and a good picture gives more than details.
    Most readers do not know what a Cessna Caravan is, so I show them.
    My favorite place for artwork is canstockphoto.com




    This artwork actually helps me plan: I need to know how much volume and weight my hero can carry. I want him to have some toys, but not so much chit that it is unbelievable that it all fit into THAT plane.
    This isn't Hermione's purse I'm writing about here. A Grand Caravan has a finite amount of space.
    Accuracy, accuracy, accuracy!
    Last edited by Ralph Rotten; January 22nd, 2019 at 09:55 PM.

  4. #4
    For a project like this I try to study as many factors as possible.
    This is the Hate-Map from the SPLC site.
    It shows hate-groups across the nation.
    How many of these groups fall within my disaster zone?
    How would they effect the story?
    How would they reflect local values overall?

  5. #5
    I have enjoyed following you on your previous book, and I for sure will follow this one!
    Hidden Content Hidden Content

    I am a clay potato in a strawberry field
    -Darren White, from "Clumsy"

  6. #6
    Member Guard Dog's Avatar
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    Ralph, since you like pictures, do give a brief stop in here, sometime.

    You don't have to comment or anything, it's just that I've added a bit of eye candy for folks, that you may enjoy.


    G.D.
    Leave it be and it won't bother you.
    Screw with it, and it'll eat you alive.

    Soon enough, nations will play second fiddle to corporations.

    "The world is not what we wish it to be; it is what it is."
    "Freedom is the value, not protection."

  7. #7
    So usually research is a looooong and boring process.
    I study the region, their natural resources, industry, populations, roads & railways... Very dry stuff but essential for an authentic story.


    But today I actually hit paydirt with K-dirt when I found this tidbit:





    For those of you that are not hardened survivalists, the significance of this is that sugar is a key element in the manufacture of alcohol. In an EOW scenario these people would be critical to the local infrastructure.
    So when I discover that the 3 surrounding counties all grow sugar-beets and process them locally, I can see that being a big deal 6 years after TEOTWAWKI.

    Now that's something I can craft a story around!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Rotten View Post
    So usually research is a looooong and boring process.
    I study the region, their natural resources, industry, populations, roads & railways... Very dry stuff but essential for an authentic story.


    But today I actually hit paydirt with K-dirt when I found this tidbit:





    For those of you that are not hardened survivalists, the significance of this is that sugar is a key element in the manufacture of alcohol. In an EOW scenario these people would be critical to the local infrastructure.
    So when I discover that the 3 surrounding counties all grow sugar-beets and process them locally, I can see that being a big deal 6 years after TEOTWAWKI.

    Now that's something I can craft a story around!
    Alcohol is critical? I can see it making the story more interesting, but critical? I'll have to do some research and see if after Katrina alcohol was critical in the area. (I have an eow story line, too.)

  9. #9
    I am steadily assembling a small library of reference material for the next book. I throw pics and documents into a folder so I can find them easy later.
    I also try to update the bibliography in the back of the book as I go. It's easier to write down the attributions when you are collecting them, than to try and figure out later where you got that data/pic.
    Is bibliography the right word? I usually title it REFERENCES. I like to detail sources where readers can go and see that the stuff that they just read is based on science.
    I have written some things that were quite counter-intuitive, and I don't want readers thinking that I just make chit up.


  10. #10
    Mentor Megan Pearson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Rotten View Post
    I am steadily assembling a small library of reference material for the next book. I throw pics and documents into a folder so I can find them easy later.
    I also try to update the bibliography in the back of the book as I go. It's easier to write down the attributions when you are collecting them, than to try and figure out later where you got that data/pic.
    This is great, Ralph! I have a few pictures but was reading this past week how helpful keeping a folder can be.
    "A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for."
    ~ John A. Shedd


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