Thursday, 12 July 2012

Websites and scene planners

(Hadn't realised what a mess my screen looks!)

I am sticking to my schedule here, with 59,000 words under my belt, in spite of the distraction of getting to grips with all this new social media stuff.  

My new website, is up and running at last.  It needs a few tweaks still, but I was spending so long dithering over it that in the end I decided to just go with it as it is.  

Have a look anyway, and let me know what you think.  I wanted it to be quite different in feel from and I think it’s certainly that.  Of course, having only book to talk about as opposed to 58 makes a big difference!

I’ve also started the Pamela Hartshorne blog but it’s heavy going, and I’m struggling with Wordpress – it’s quite a relief today to get back to dear old Blogger!  What with the blog, the website and the constant logging in and out of Facebook and Twitter with my different hats on, it’s amazing I’m getting any writing done at all! 

But I’ve still got another 41,000 words to write before 2nd August so I need to keep at it.   The story is starting to come together.  I’ve found my scene planner very helpful in keeping track of where the characters are and what they’re supposed to be doing.  The order of some scenes has shifted and – phew! – the characters have started to move the story in directions I hadn’t thought of before, but the overall shape of the story has, so far at least, stayed the same. 

Forcing myself to consider what the scene is for and what changes in it was really useful, and I might try something similar with my next romance, although I can’t imagine it working in quite the same way when the ‘plot’ is emotional rather than physical.  

This is a Shitty Second Draft, so I’m concentrating on just getting the words on the page at the moment.  Once I’ve got my 100,000 words, the real writing will start.  That’s when I’ll need to add some texture to the story – and do some more of that research I was so determined to do at the scene planning stage … but I’d better keep that for my other blog.

Meanwhile, I’m off to get to 60,000 words before lunch ...


  1. Hi Jessica
    Really enjoyed your course in York the other week. Learnt so much.
    Where could I get a copy of this scene planner? It sounds like something that could be very useful for my writing.
    All best wishes

  2. Hi Sarah
    Great to hear that you enjoyed the course! Re the scene planner, I made it up, so v simple to create one that suits you. I did a page for each scene, and noted whose POV it was at the top. My blank master had spaces for the following information:
    Season/Time (particularly important for a time slip!)
    Who else is in the scene?
    What are they doing? (background and main action points)
    What are they wearing? (again, saves a lot of time looking up historical costume)
    Point of scene/change (v important)
    How does she feel at the beginning of the scene?
    How does she feel at the end of the scene?
    Research (i.e. what I need to find out about in more detail for the scene)
    Other notes (I haven't used this much but thought it might be useful)

    I ended up with 48 pages or scenes for the entire book, about half in the past and half in the present, but that's for a 120-140k word novel.

    Hope that helps - Good luck!