Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Writing a pitch with the LAYER system – part 1

I have a week to hit my publisher with a detailed pitch for a 10.000-words story I hope will be the first of a new series. So today I spent some time doodling on a notebook while I was waiting in line at the supermarket. This is something I learned over thirty years ago, from a series of articles by Piers Anthony. Be able to write anywhere, and use your dead time.

As I have a limited time (I’d like to mail te proposal by the weekend), I decided to try and use the Plot Gardening method by Chris Fox – I got the book of the same title a few days back (as you know I collect books about writing), and it looks like it might be my sort of thing.

In particular I am trying to apply the LAYER System, as outlined by Fox, that requires me to define

  • Lead – the hero of the piece
  • Antagonist – the main antagonist
  • Yard – the setting
  • Engagement point – where it begins
  • Return – how it ends

This is the basic set-up to get a viable story on the way.
Once this is done, I’ll outline the story – the request is for as detailed outline as possible – and wait for the publisher to tell me how much he likes my idea.
Hopefully.

I am still in high seas where the reasons of the characters are concerned.
But I’ll work that out as I add more layers to the cake.


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Seventeen per hour

30422_monk-writingOK, for a laugh.
I was reading an award-winning novelist‘s interview the other day.
I like reading writers talking about their work flow, their methods, their quirks.
Turns out the guy worked on his latest, award-winning novel

six hours a day, every day for four years, without pause

And being the sort of person I am, coming to this statement I started thinking in numbers.

Now, four years makes

(365 x 4) + 1 = 1461 days

working six hours a day, every frigging day of the week for four years makes

1461 x 6 = 8766 hours

Now comes the hard part – according to Amazon, the guy’s award-winning novel is 411 pages long in hardback. Let’s place it at around 150.000 words.

150.000 / 8766 = 17 words per hour

That’s when I started laughing. Continue reading