6 Days to NaNo: A Writer’s Notes

I am not the kind of writer that creates outlines, but I do take notes before, during and after writing to keep things track of things. Here is an example of what my pre-draft notes look like:

Title: Ruins of Empire/ROE

Genre: Science Fiction

Sub-genre:  Space Opera

Time Frame: 2,300 years in the future.



FTL– “Jump Gates” near major planets, large ships carry “jump engines” that allow them to fold space/time and make near instantaneous travel between stars.  Outside of FTL, travel is no faster than 1% of light speed.Travel is linear (no maneuvering while on a jump). It may take multiple jumps to reach a specific destination.

Weapons- Capital ships use a mix of energy, projectile and missile based weapons. Engagements occur at distances under a light second.  Ground units use missiles and projectile weapons with the rare heavy energy weapon. Standard heavy infantry wears powered armor with armor, artillery and aerospace fighter support.  Nuclear weapons reserved for planetary bombardment but use of “hi-impact kinetic weapons” and “nukes” against civilian targets illegal under Imperial Law.

Communications: FTL through jumpgates (that double as transmitters stations) and FTL equipped courier ships.

Sensor: Only work in “real space”, non visual targeting sensors can be jammed by advanced ECM or temporarily blinded by nukes and/or EMP charges (which need not be nuclear).


Empire ruled under a Noble House System. House Major each control an arm of the galaxy while the Emperor controls the Galactic Center and the “Imperial Arm” (Orion arm of the Galaxy). The “Imperial House” is considered a separate entity from the rest of the House Major.  By custom no leader can rule both a House Major and the Imperial House. Each House Major internal political organization follows their own pattern from Constitutional Monarchy to a Corporatocracy. Currently the House Major feud among each other to see who will fill the vacant Imperial throne.

The smallest political unit is the “world”, which is a planet with at least 100 million inhabitants.


Task Forces of the Imperial Navy patrolled Known Space. The Emperor could call upon levies from House Major/Minor to support Imperial operations.  Planetary and system defense fell under each House responsibility. With the fall of the Empire, House Major have increased the size of their military and large mercenary forces have come to the forefront.


That’s just an example. I write the notes down as they come to me, more of a tool for mental organization than anything else.

NOTE: I’ll be in surgery tomorrow, so I probably won’t post anything until the end of the week. Hopefully I’ll be up and running come next weekend to kick off NaNo O9.

    • bigwords88
    • October 26th, 2009

    TV Tropes will ruin your life. You do realize that even the hint of geeky references and I’ll be reading for days?

    Best of luck with the surgery.

  1. Thanks!

  2. Thank you for getting me addicted to TV Tropes. 🙂

    That’s a really good way to create an outline–I’ll have to adapt it to my own work!

    • Yes!


      Their just notes mind you, not a full outline, I avoid those like the plague. Still helpful, so use them as you see fit.

  3. Why I shouldn’t comment at 2 am…I meant to write “create story notes.”

    • No worries Beth, it happens. Which reminds me, I have yet to post today’s update!

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: