Writing a Novel Part II: Details

In Part I of this post I announced that I’m writing a novel. In this part, I’ll discuss some of the particular points about the novel itself, including: what its about (or how much I feel comfortable saying), the topics I’m researching to write it, and the tools I’ll be using to write/plan the novel.

What Its About:

I’m hesitant to reveal too much of the novel before I actually start writing it, being one of the writers who’s superstitious about talking the story away before getting it down on paper, but here’s a little summary:

Its a coming of age story set in an 18-19th century steampunk world, at the height of an industrial revolution. The culture, the people, and the magic system are all heavily influenced by near and far Eastern traditions (think elements of India and 1001 Arabian Nights)

For those less familiar with the above terms, I’ll re-frame it in terms of mashing up movies:

Its like The Count of Monte Cristo + James Bond+1001 Arabian Nights + heist story

And that’s about all I’ll say concerning the story till I write the novel.

Research Topics:

My actual research list is quite extensive, but here’s a small sample of some of the topics I’m currently researching:

– Architectural design of different types of buildings.

– True accounts of grave robberies and famous heists.

– Engineering systems of the 18th and 19th century.

-Djinns (mostly folkloric and historical records)

– Tombs/Strongrooms/and Bank Vaults

My Writerly Tools:

Scrivener: Scrivener is absolutely the bees knees for a large number of working novelists. I’ve been using the beta version in Windows, and its been hella useful in organizing my thoughts/planning scenes/holding all my research notes. A very big thanks to Tobias Buckell for recommending Scrivener on his blog.

Gedit: A minimalist text editor. It does what its supposed to, and doesn’t get in the way with formatting options. I’ve been using Gedit since Cory Doctorow endorsed the benefits of a text editor over a word processor

Delicious: I use Delicious on a daily basis to bookmark research links from all over. I’ve accumulated quite a bit of research through Delicious and I plan to keep using it as I write this novel.

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