Wow, this British summer is lasting a while. A good thing too really, considering I currently have no heating in my house.
About a month ago I wrote a post about starting a new story, a fantasy one, and I had hoped to write about 10,000 words a week. By that calculation I should have over 40,000 now. Instead, I’m just off 20,000. I think I need NaNoWriMo for motivation. But the thing is, I just can’t get into this story yet, which is odd considering I’m taking elements and characters from a story I wrote several years back. Maybe that’s the reason why…?
I’m also a little uncertain about which historical era to set it in (though it’s a fantasy world, it needs a basis). I’m thinking perhaps 1860s? The American Civil War. I haven’t done that sort of thing before. I loved the setting of that TV show, Hell on Wheels, and it’s the time when technology was coming in, which could be interesting. In any case, at the moment I see it as a mix of:
One thing I know isn’t worrying me, is the plot. I am planning this novel as the first of a trilogy, and that means not only a lot of world-building (which is fun) but a lot of things that need to interconnect. I think Sarah J. Maas did that really well in Crown of Midnight, as did the Percy Jackson series. I have therefore created an Excel document that charts the characters, their arcs, their motivations, the plot, things that link, and things that will lead to book 2 and 3. It’s all pretty with colour coordination, and with it I can see where sub-plots need to be and which aspects of the story need to be where. I know this will get far more complicated as I go along, and after the first draft, but it’s a start. I got the idea mainly from author Marissa Meyer (Cinder) who did a blog post on her website about it (though hers was printed out).
I’ll just keep plodding along and reminding myself this is only the first draft. The final draft of VL is basically unrecognisable from the first draft. (I don’t know if that’s good motivation or not…?)
I’d love to hear how other people plan novels from the beginning. Is it just throw everything in? Plan every single chapter? Or is your method somewhere in between?