Multi-Novel Plotting

I do have to say … writing three interconnected novels all at the same time is rather fun. In the later novels you get an inspiration that affects the other books, and since you haven’t published them yet, you can go in and make the appropriate changes … leaving all sorts of fun clues and foreshadowing that readers will scratch their heads at until they read the next book … and get that wonderful “Aha!” moment.

I also have to say that doing it without using something like Scrivener would have been rather difficult. Not impossible, but not as easy. You’d have to resort to the old fashion method of an entire wall of your abode used as a giant post-it note gallery, with yarn and pushpins to tie the various points together.

Come to think of it, that sounds like fun too.

I doubt my landlord would appreciate 10,000 push-pin holes in one of the main walls of my apartment, though.

Sasquatch Village

It’s just after 9 PM and I’m staring at my manuscript while listening to rain pattering on some metal part of my chimney. It tinkles, clinks, and clunks.

I’ve reached a stopping point, and need to ponder something.

In this part of the story I need to figure out exactly what a Sasquatch village would be like. The problem is in my minds eye, I keep seeing the Ewok village from Star Wars.

That is not what I want.

These creatures — at least, in my story — have long ago learned to live in such harmony with nature that the need for developing any kind of technology was unnecessary. They are the true shaman of the forest. I’m thinking that they don’t even need fire.

Would they build shelters? Or would they would live in giant burrows? I don’t see them living in trees because they share a common ancestor with bears, not apes. But does that mean they would live like bears? Not necessarily — we don’t live like monkeys.

This is where I need to simply go to bed and let my brain process it overnight. Tomorrow morning I hope I’ll know exactly how a Sasquatch village needs to be.

You can’t use Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium for professional use?

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Supposedly, according to Ed Bott’s ZDNet article (linked here), this wording is included in the license for Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium:

The service/software may not be used for commercial, non-profit, or revenue-generating activities.

Does that mean that if you’re a professional writer, and you sell the things that you write, you can’t use this version of Microsoft Word?

Remember, this includes the license for Microsoft’s nifty new iPad version of Word that everyone is so excited about. I know many writers who want to use their iPads for novel writing, or editing (especially editing – it’s brilliant for proofreading a manuscript)

In the real world, Microsoft is not going to know or care if you’ve written or edited your novel on their “not for revenue-generating activities” version of Word, so this is a non-issue. It just makes you kind of scratch your head and wonder at the convoluted nonsense that Microsoft lawyers jam into their licensing agreements.

If you’re paranoid about it, then use the perfectly good Pages word processor that comes free with your iPad.

Personally, I’m still waiting eagerly for Scrivener to come out on iPad.

Villain Grandstanding

The villain in my current manuscript is grandstanding.

I am hesitant about this, but in the case of this story, I think it works. Plus we’re all conditioned to evildoers grandstanding during times when they think they’ve won – it’s in every single Bond movie, every single Star Wars movie, and I could make the argument you see it in Indiana Jones as well.

I’ve never done it before, so it feels like cheating. It feels like the villain is going, “Here, I’m going to dump some plot points on you.” But … if the character is truly an egomaniac (hell bent on taking over the world) and he thinks he’s in the right – to him, he’s not the evil one – his twisted sense of self righteousness is going to make him gloat over his win. In this case, though, instead of grandstanding before throwing the hero into a pool of laser-guided sharks, he is explaining that he’s won, and why he’s won, and why he’s going to let the hero live, and what exactly he’ll do to the hero if the villain ever sets eyes on him again. It all fits perfectly with the character, and so…

I’m going to let him do it.

Do you ever let your villains grandstand?