Monday, 19 November 2012


You may know that I decided to write ROGUE because of my semester abroad in Germany. I wanted to write a novel set in an exotic* location, but be able to experience it first-hand.

So far the novel has taken place either in locations I can’t easily access (US embassy, Berlin, etc.) or in generic locations (hotel room, freeway, etc.). But I’m just a few chapters away from writing about an event which takes place in a real and accessible location.

Excursion time!

Last Sunday I had some free time, so I decided to head to Cologne to scout out the scene of an assassination. It was raining and miserable where I’m living, but my phone said it wasn’t too bad in Cologne.

Unfortunately, my phone’s a liar: it was pretty crappy in Cologne too.

The assassin's position is on the roof of the building, right next to the flag pole. (Also, look at the sky. Crappy weather. AND it was raining...)
I found my way to the (wow, this is awkward. I can’t remember the English word for it…*thinks*) Town Hall without too much trouble. In hindsight, I realise I took the long way there – it took me nearly ten minutes to get there from the train station, but only three to get back!

The target will stand outside the Rathaus (Town Hall). Ignore the construction site.
Because it was cold and rainy, I didn’t spend too much time at the Town Hall. That’s okay, because I’d already scoped the area via Google Maps. I snapped a few pictures and checked that everything was the same as I’d pictured it after having a bird’s-eye view of the area.

What about you? Have you ever done any hands-on research for your WIP? How did it go? Let me know in the comments section below!

* Technically every location is exotic for someone, but that’s a whole new topic.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Fast Progress

I’ve had a busy few weeks. University in Germany is keeping me occupied (sometimes too much), but most of the time I’m able to make time to write each day. The last two weeks have been especially hectic – mid-semester exams, yay! – and there was a long period when I was too burnt out to write.

But for the most part, ROGUE is coming along really well. I’m racing through the story, and should be finished within a few months. I’ve noticed that I seem to be trying something new with my WIP: I’m going so fast.

With my previous projects, I usually plod along trying to make my rough draft as perfect as possible. However, with ROGUE I’m speeding through it, just trying to get the words down as quickly as possible.

I’m not sure if it’s because I’m filled with NaNo spirit, or because I have a deadline to write the rough draft (mid February, when I finish my semester), or because I know that I’ll be rewriting the novel anyway, but I’m writing quickly and not caring if it isn’t perfect. Which I think is awesome. Because no one’s rough drafts are ever perfect. Most probably suck. So I can see now that I shouldn’t spend so much time working on a rough draft, but I should get it on paper quickly so that I can start work on making it better.

What about you? Do you write drafts quickly, or do you spend more time on them to make them better? If you’re doing NaNo, how are you going? Let me know in the comments section!