Saturday, 3 March 2012

Unless you can see microwaves, that is . . .

I am very, very close to moving from the (re)outlining stage of my novel on to the writing stage. And I'm so glad of that, because I'm chomping at the bit!

I've made the mistake in the past of getting impatient and moving on to the writing before the outline is sufficiently advanced. Some people can write by the seat of their pants (they can be called 'discovery writers' or 'pantsers'), but I am not one of those. I am a planner, an outliner. Through experimentation with shorter projects over the last year, and through failures prior to that, I've learned that if I don't outline and plan enough, then when it comes time to write I fall on my face. The project stalls.

So over the last several months I've been working hard on researching, brainstorming, and outlining. And now I'm nearly there. I have Monday off work, and I am determined that on that day I will get the outline, if not complete, then at least ready for writing.

I've given myself a deadline of 31 August for the first draft. If I write 5 days a week, that will be a daily target of just over 750 words. I can do this!

Although I am just about to start writing, that doesn't mean I have stopped filling my head with knowledge that could lead to ideas for my novel. I recently started a free trial membership with Audible to see what using their service is like and to support the Writing Excuses podcast. The free book I downloaded was Parallel Worlds by Michio Kaku. I love popular physics. I'm enjoying listening to the book on my iPod when I'm walking, on the bus, or doing the dishes.

Today I learned a fascinating fact while listening to Parallel Worlds: the first person to solve Olbers's Paradox was Edgar Allen Poe! That's awesome! Olbers's Paradox is the question: If the Universe is static, infinite, and eternal (as was thought in the past), then how come the night sky is black, and is not blazing with the light of infinite stars? Early hypotheses included interstellar dust blocking the light of distant stars. Of course, the real answer is that the universe is not eternal – it had a beginning, and therefore the light from most of the galaxies in the Universe has not yet had time to reach us. (And because of the expansion of the Universe, it never will.)

I think it is fitting that a poet was the first to see the truth in such a poetic idea.

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