Under the Hood

This is what my novel YOU looks like at the moment.


Everyone always tells you to make notecards, and even though I hate taking any kind of writing advice ever, I have to admit this is kind of cool.  It’s nice to be able to look at the whole thing at once.




  • November 12, 2011 at 4:57 am //

    Perhaps you know already, perhaps you don’t: Scrivener? (Mac and Win.)

    • April 18, 2012 at 2:06 pm //

      *clutches at maps* Really? Are you sure?LOL!You’re so right! Now that I’ve all this stuff doodled out and wahntot, it’s better stuck in my head. Notecard of NaNo assignments sound fun! That way I can physically put them in the Done pile and feel productive Thanks for the encouragement! Sometimes I cling to the familiar, and need a gentle shove (and sometimes not so gentle push) to move on. And really, there’s so much planning stuff around, I think it’s intimidating me.*shoves planning stuff away, pulls out notecards*^_^

  • November 12, 2011 at 5:36 am //

    thats cool, i like to stick stuff on walls to make the impression that i’m working hard

    my frd recently bought me a program for my birthday for writing, called Liquid Story Binder XE, it is the most confusing thing in the world….luckily we could refund it

    anyways, paper and pen, all good

  • November 12, 2011 at 6:09 am //

    I’m a closet Luddite – I’m modestly frightened of MS Word and terrified of things like Scrivener and Liquid Story Binder, all that author-assist software. I like to write longhand, and feel like it does good things for my thinking – so I worry, what’s that software going to do to my thought processes? Who’s writing the book at that point? What happens when the robot masters arrive? &c. &c.

    • November 13, 2011 at 6:51 pm //

      Whatever works for you, works. I would like writing longhand better if I could do it on butcher paper without hurting my neck/shoulders; anything on ruled paper ends up with interlinear comments, expansions, and corrections that make me want to recopy before I’ve finished getting a thought out. So far, Scrivener has been most useful to me in preparing a bog-standard-format conference paper, from multiple scribbly drafts of an abstract on. I can’t figure out how to use it for my convenience on other things.

      • April 18, 2012 at 12:16 am //

        Here’s a really cool thing that I misesd for a long time: some of the planning process you never look at again. Once you cluster and scribble and chart, it’s in your brain. You don’t have to transfer it into Scrivener or anything. You can always go back and refer to it later if you get stuck, but you probably won’t.Use a simple pack of notecards and write down the basics from all your planning methods. Each notecard (or set of notecards) becomes a NaNo writing assignment. Keep it simple, so you know exactly what you need to do. Don’t worry about the huge mass of notes and squiggles you’ve produced unless you get stuck. Move from point A to point B on the first day and don’t worry about squeezing in every detail. Don’t freak out if you leave your path a little. Identify how you’ll pull it back together w/ your original plan, make notes a few note cards ahead, and keep going.You’re charting a path from beginning to end. You’ve prepared. You can see it in your head. You can quit holding your map in a death grip now. Just glance at your notes and drive.

    • January 13, 2012 at 2:11 pm //

      Looking forward to reading the next book. Big fan of Invincible.



      • April 18, 2012 at 5:26 pm //

        I’m in the same position. I’ve got a list of about eight basic plot poitns that I’m going off of. It’s a lot less planning than I did last year. I think my idea last year was too big, and too complicated. Also by the end of the month it felt really forced. So I’m trying the minimal planning, so we’ll see where that goes. Good luck!Ann s last [type] ..

    • April 18, 2012 at 2:54 am //

      Write or Die. How appropriate. You didn’t need a prgroam to tell you that. You just need me. I will now threaten you every day when I see you tweeting instead of writing. I will threaten you, you cow-tipping cowgirl to WRITE OR DIE! I can kill, you know. I have the skills. Just sayin, you might want to take my advice and write . or DIE. You never needed a prgroam; you just needed me. Besides, that damned prgroam isn’t going to offer you vodka when you meet your goal, now is it?

  • February 11, 2012 at 3:37 pm //

    There are so many things I want to say about “Soon I Will be Invincible”; how much I wish the film would stop being delayed, how revolutionarily AWESOME it was, how it made you my favorite author to ever exist instantly… and I’ve never even been a comic fan.
    Austin, an out of the blue and completely random reading of your novel got me out of a stint I’ve been in, and back into reading (which I hadn’t done seriously since childhood). I’ve even gone and read all your brother’s books out of just needing more from you or anything related to you, and then I read today that you’re working on new stuff. Thank you. Thank you so much.

    The coming of “YOU” is likely my most anticipated event in 2012 (if indeed it will come out in 2012, hehe) and it looks great so far. Tabletop games are my ishhh and I’m positively famished for historical fiction like your other Nixon novel. I wish I’d found your blogs sooner! Keep up the great work!

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