Introducing “Cat’s Paw”

Cat’s Paw is the title of book 2 in my children’s series.

You will have noticed, or maybe not, that I’ve replaced the progress bar in the sidebar. It won’t change for a while yet, because I doubt I’ll start writing for a few weeks. Maybe, and this is just a random thought so don’t hold me to it, I’ll even unofficially use NaNoWriMo to get started. By that, I mean that I’ll use the NaNo idea of writing everyday, but there’s no way I’ll register and there’s no way I’ll force myself to meet a high word count each day. That almost killed me when I did it a few years back. To be honest, I’d be happy if I could write two pages a day. That’s doable.

I digress. Back to my planning.

I have my one-sentence summary written using the Snowflake method. As I said in a recent comment, I think it’s difficult to write a meaningful sentence under 15 words, so my sentence is 25 words and I’m pleased with the outcome. It sounds interesting, whereas with less words it sounds ordinary.

The cryptic message for the first chapter is also written. Vague and confusing are the key words here. I believe I achieved both, yet all the clues will be right there on the first page of the manuscript. I love the idea of that. I wonder how long it will take the reader to work it out, compared to the characters.

This afternoon, I will move onto step 2 of the Snowflake method – expanding that sentence into a five-sentence paragraph. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? It’s not! Each step of the Snowflake method is designed to expand the author’s knowledge of the plot, characters and motivations. And for me, it works wonders. I’d prefer to find the hole(s) in my plot now rather than when I’m half way through the manuscript. My two favourite questions to ask myself are…why and what if.

I find my mind returning to Cat’s Paw often during the day. It’s not especially good when this happens when I’m at work and I’m typing a report. I’ve been known to suddenly go off track, in the middle of a report – sometimes without even realising. I remember one embarrassing day last year when one of the men I work with came up to me and asked what drugs I’d been prescribed recently. I’d given him a strange look and he handed me a report I had typed that morning. There, right in the middle of all the technical jargon, was a lone word – volcano. It may as well have been highlighted in big, bold letters, because it stood out on the page.

Colour crept over my face. The man laughed, and so did the other four men in the vicinity. I stood there like a goose waiting for its feathers to be plucked. I’d never hear the end of this, I knew it, and I was right. Looking back, I remembered thinking about volcanos that morning. I remember having a mind slip, in more ways than one obviously, as I couldn’t remember how it was spelt. So right then and there I typed the word. Oh, that’s right, that’s how it’s spelt and I carried on with the report…without deleting the word.

You’d think I’d learn a lesson from this. I didn’t. I’ve done it twice more since then. Once with the word “Hawaii” and another time I had a phrase, but I can’t remember the exact wording of that. The men at work still ask me when I plan to go to Hawaii to see the volcano. Very funny. Not!

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