Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Novel Logs

I've been reading about keeping a novel log. It doesn't require anything more than a notebook and a pen. Oh, and that commitment thing.

It's kind of like a diary of your book, starting with your characters and setting. Plot points and other notations. Then you decide how many words you're going to write each day for two weeks. Be realistic. Be specific. What scene will you write that day? What are the key elements? Date your daily entries so you can easily find your newest thoughts and progress made.

When you start the detailed character part of your novel log, use words to describe them. Is there another fictional character they're like? Are they a combination of real people you know?

I already keep a list of my scenes. It's helpful to know which one I have to tweak because I've changed something somewhere else. Or a read-through has pointed up a loose thread or weak plot line. A type of scene list would be a wonderful addition to your novel log from the very beginning.

A quick reference area for research sources would be handy. Anything else?

All in one little notebook.

But then there's that commitment thig. I've been working hard trying to keep one of those 10-year journals. This is my first year and I already missed quite a few days after my mom died.

I want to try this novel log thing, but will I? It feels a little late for the one I'm working on now, but . . .

It's all better with friends.


  1. Peg, be sure and make note of how you got your idea for your book. When my Silouette Romance was published that was one of the questions everyone asked. Luckily, I remembered. I have several unpubbed books and no memory of where the idea for them came from. :) Anyway, knowing the genesis of your book helps in marketing. :)

  2. I'm doing a similar thing with an Excel spreadsheet, but hadn't thought of it as a diary or log. Definitely hadn't thought about it as an advance planning. Have to keep that in mind. I'm in the same boat that it's probably too late to use on the current book.

  3. Oh Jess, great advice. I know EXACTLY when the idea for Broken Bones became real. And it's always a good idea to have a truthful answer for our readers.

    Rich, can I admit I've never learned Exel? It scares the dickens out of me. But a rose by any other name . . . *grin*