Kamachi Kazuma’s 10 Year Structure (2/17)

Mar 18th, 2016
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  1. Before Writing Even the First Letter
  3. If you’ve never written anything before, then before even getting to the methods for writing, you might be wondering how someone can come up with a story that fills 300-400 pages.
  4. However, I don’t think there’s anything special there. It isn’t like a fully-developed story just drops into my head.
  5. It may be better to say I come up with a character, a line, a weapon, or a scene, and other small “points” and then fill in the surrounding elements to give form to the full novel.
  6. So whether you’re a professional, an amateur, a liberal arts type, or a science type, my theory is that everyone comes up with the ideas needed for a novel.
  7. The difference between the professional and the amateur is what you do with these small ideas you come up with on a daily basis. Do you record them so you won’t forget them (record, not remember) and do you prepare those ideas to the point that a third party (i.e. the readers) can understand them?
  9. If you’re going to turn those small ideas and opinions into “points” for your story, you need to connect them into a “line”. You need to list them out equally so they flow together into a story.
  10. I’m sure this differs from person to person, but in my case, I think I connect 10-30 of those “points” into a “line”.
  11. So if you want to write a novel, the first step is to store up those ideas that come to you one moment and you forget a moment later.
  12. However, that doesn’t require any major preparation.
  13. You can get by with a notebook or your cellphone’s memo function. You just need something you can pull out to jot down the ideas whenever they come to you.
  14. Simply write down a list of those ideas as they come to you. Don’t focus on “screening” the ideas based on whether they’re especially cool or novel. You can decide whether they’ll be any use later on.
  15. In my case, it’s like this:
  17. Plant Tanker
  18. To avoid soaking fruit in preservative, a large-scale plant factory is built inside to transport the fruits and vegetables while they’re still alive.
  19. However, this increases the risk of unwanted introduced species being carried in.
  21. Bullet Sigil
  22. Using the ricocheting of a bullet to draw a sigil to use magic.
  24. As I’m sure you can see, this is completely worthless information that doesn’t connect to a story at all. But if you build up ten or twenty of them and link them together, you can create a setting with some more depth to it.
  25. So at this stage, it’s important to not worry about the ideas. Don’t think about whether they’re embarrassing. Just use some medium outside your head to save every idea or bud of an idea that comes to mind.
  26. The human mind is far more forgetful than we like to think. Especially when it comes to information unrelated to your actual life, just like with dreams. You might be confident you can remember these things, but you need to assume your memory is not so reliable. The first step is to work at efficiently picking up all the daily ideas that float to the surface of your mind and then pop.
  28. By the way, Dengeki Bunko-style stories tend to mock these kinds of notes as an embarrassing part of your past. I hate to say that I can think of a few examples of doing that in my own works. But there’s no reason to be embarrassed about it in the real world.
  29. For example, comedians have a notebook of gags and magicians have a notebook of tricks. Those are a product of their blood and sweat, so it isn’t something you can mock them for. And since the items in the notebook are only in the preparatory stage, they don’t all have to be perfect 100s. They’re ideas, not finished products after all. If other professions do it, then it makes no sense to say authors can’t.
  31. And if you have some time, it’s convenient to periodically transfer that list of ideas to a computer’s word processor or some other medium that you can perform a keyword search on.
  32. This is especially true for handwritten notes.
  33. If you do that, you can avoid losing track of an idea and thus defeating the entire point of the notes.
  34. When typing up the text for searching, you can make it all the more convenient by adding genres to the end of each one like fantasy, mecha, creature, person, weapon, accessory, etc.
  35. Do that and when you want three small fry characters to be defeated, you can make a quick search for “person” instead of looking through the long file manually. And speaking from personal experience, it might not seem like a big deal at first, but once the number of entries passes 100 or even 1000, that small bit of preparation can save you a significant amount of time.
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