I like it when I see a future idea I had being brought into some kind of reality.

No ideas are original, so the idea of a road generating power via solar panels is not ground-breaking in itself but still, it means I’m not a dribbling idiot…which is always nice to confirm.

I get ‘Popular Science’ magazine every month and this month there’s an article, ‘Environmental Visionaries: The Solar Roadrunner‘. About a company, Solar Roadways, who want to ‘cover all concrete and asphalt surfaces that are exposed to the sun with Solar Road Panels‘.

I’ve briefly mentioned this before, ‘Self-Sustainable and Carbon Neutral Car Travel‘, and this newer article doesn’t really say anything new just that the project is still going ahead with a few little targets to get it live and achieving a critical mass by starting out in McDonald car parks.

I think a better way of generating power AND being beneficial to the customers would be to install hamster wheels in a McDonalds car park and have them running round, powering the deep fat fryers.

I thought I’d put some of the chapter planning notes I make online.  There’s no tips or advice because who the hell am I to do that, this is just to put it out there as I haven’t seen anyone else do this so thought it could be interesting.

Reading blogs and magazine articles featuring the writing process from many different authors, you get a wide range of advice about planning from ‘I totally wing it‘ to ‘I mercilessly plan and research every detail before I even crack open the laptop‘.

I’m kind of in the middle.  I can’t start without a basic theme or a general direction I want to head into.  After I got that, I research the theme and tentatively create characters and situations to convey some sort of central theme and direction.  Once that’s done then I usually only plan a few chapters in advance.  This is so I a) know the chapter I’m currently writing, b) know how the current chapter will lead into the next and c) leaving more advanced chapters unchallenged means the novel has the flexibility to go where the story dictates.

I’ve only completed one novel and about a fifth of the way through the second (5 chapters/11,500 words), but so far I find that their story arcs arrive in about 5 or 6 chapters chunks.  I’m currently at the end of the first chunk of ‘Broken Branches’.  I suppose this is the introductory chunk; introducing the main themes, the characters and their dilemma’s.

So what do the notes look like?

…read more »