The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Great Sky woman

As Great Sky Woman nears completion, it is interesting to think about the things I did right, and the things I did wrong on this project.  I'll be musing and talking more about his over time, but just wanted to go over my current work structure.

1)  Spend some months planning, outlining, researching.  This involved dozens of books on wildlife, medicinal plants, climbing Kilimanjaro, volcanos, history, biological and cultural anthropology, the life of the San and !Kung Bushmen, the history of ancient civilizations, and more than I can remember at the moment.  The thought of it still exhausts me. 
2)  Traveled to Tanzania to spend two weeks on the Serengeti, and some time on Kili himself.  Big frigging mountain.  Havin ga chance to actually wake up under the East African night sky was beyond wonderful.  By the way--we're planning to do to Ethiopia in January.
3) Collate notes and rework outline.
4)  Get out my copy of final Draft, and create a script.  I do this because scripts consist of narrative and dialogue, without much description (compared to a book).  Therefore, they can be written more rapidly.  This forms an expanded outline, where I can test all character and plot elements, and insinuate layers of visual and auditory symbolism.   final Draft is great because of the different views of the project I can conjure up--the "Index Card" view is simply superb, allowing you to have an entire book/movie on the screen at one time.
5) Flesh out the script.  In essence, 'Novelize" it.  There will be much discovery at this point, and new scenes pop up like crazy.
6)  The final polishing process is a matter of printing the book, making corrections on paper, then inputting the corrections on the computer.  The process of going back and forth between paper and screen seems to be quite valuable--I catch mistakes on paper I don't catch on the screen, and vice versa.
7) At some point, I send it out to be read by a select group of pre-readers who I can trust to give me tough, honest feedback.  This is also likely to be the time when I tap into a circle of experts in various fields who have provided me with research pointers along the way.  Oh--also my editor and agent.
8)  I take their comments, re-write, and polish.
9)  At some point a book has to be torn loose from my trembling fingers.  I continue to polish in manuscript and then galley form, until the hardcover comes and I have to surrender.
the whole time, I'm doing my Golden Hour, and reading one scene of Shakespeare aloud every day. 
This process has worked very well for my last six novels, and I intend to keep it.


Va Virginia House Cleaning said...

Suitable blog, its very good. I liked the site its
from so much I have to visit it again! I surf the web
for blogs like yours in my spare time.
Sweetie, go and search my ut utah house cleaning blog for what you need.

Anonymous said...

My point of view partially coincided with yours. Thank you for trying. antidepressants Read a useful article about tramadol tramadol

Anonymous said...

You have a very good blog that the main thing a lot of interesting and useful! erectile dysfunction Read a useful article about tramadol tramadol