Making Plans – The Climb #245

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Making Plans – The Climb #245

Saturday 23rd September 2017

I had planned to have a busy day tidying the house.  Given all the tournaments and edits of recent weeks I actually had a day where I didn’t have to do anything.

But despite doing nothing for 3 days earlier this week with my cold, it seemed my body just wanted to chill.  As a result, the highlight today has been walking to Morrison’s to get some fresh air.

Actually, that’s not strictly true…

My back has been hurting so I’ve had a heat patch on it most of the day while I’ve played Warcraft.  I’ve taken another couple of level 100 characters and put them through the opening scenario with a view to levelling them up through invasions like I did my last two.  But whilst that kept me busy, I am getting to the stage where I’m feeling a little Warcrafted out.

That’s good.  Come 1st October I want to return to book 2 and start a second draft.  And ideally, I’d like to do a lot of the prep work this next week.  Except for things I already have notes on from when I wrote it, I think I need to read it again to know what else to do.

So I think I’m going to dive in cold.  The major thing it needed was some work on the secondary characters but now I have a first draft and a more solid idea of the nuances of the story, I can probably do that as I edit.

And I came really close to starting that today.  I opened up the Scrivener file and everything.

But I did something else…

I started work on outlining book 3.

Now, maybe I’m getting ahead of myself here, but the last few weeks have got me thinking about character arcs and what needs to happen in book 3.  I thought the ideas I had for one character  would work well with what I already have, so I opened the file and played around with it.

At the moment book 3 is a mindmap.  It’s just a collection of links from characters to possible events.  The real trick here is to find events where more than one character links in order to spark conflict.  So character A might do something to Character B for some motive or other, only for character B to think it was Character C and react.  These are the links I’m really keen to build, and where I thought this new character arc might fit in well.

So I opened the mindmap this evening and played around with it.  Sometimes the spider diagram gives me ideas.  What if I link this to this?

It’s not even a plot at the moment, just a collection of interconnected ideas.  It’s only as the links start criss-crossing that I feel I have something approaching a plot.

If there’s a formula to the Shade Knight books it’s this:  There are two story threads – one following the character’s personal life and the other following his heroic alter ego.  And like all good books, something in one thread impacts the other and vice versa.

So far with book 3, I have a rough idea of one of the threads.  This new character arc complicates it a bit (in a good way).

As the mind map is starting to get a bit messy (again that’s good, it means there’s a lot of ideas) I opened a new Scrivener file and stated working in corkboard mode.  I create filecards for chapters, giving each a one or two sentence summary (along with any important plot points).  I can then move these around and edit them as needed.

Now these will get consolidated and changed a lot as I plan out a novel, but I’m looking for around 40-50 cards to feel I’ve got a novel.  What’s great is that when it comes to creating a synopsis, I pretty much just tidy up these notes.

At the moment I have 10 file cards, which is a good start.

It’s quite possible that I’ll close the file and not look at it again for months.  I’m in no rush to plan out book 3, but it would be nice to have book 3 ready to write before the end of the year.

However, before that I need to edit book 2.

I’m still not sure how I’m going to do this.  I’m pretty sure that the structural stuff will come out of the first beta read, so I’m asking myself how hard do I edit the text given that I may be replacing a lot of it?

I’d like to think that Book 2 will be easier to edit but I suspect I might be a little niaive in thinking that.  That’s why I’ve not dived in tonight.

Still, I’m mentally feeling ready to dive back in.  I won’t lie, there’s a bit of anxiety when it comes to book 2.  What if it’s not as good as book 1?  That’s probably as good a reason to be getting on with the second draft.  The more time I give myself the better.

With book 1 with my agent, book 2 about to commence a second draft and book 3 being planned out, you’d think I feel super-organised.  But in truth, I still worry I’m being slow.  I just hope book 2 takes less effort to get to a publishable state than book 1 has.

If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels.  Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.

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2017-09-24T19:06:56+00:00September 24th, 2017|Health, The Climb, Writing|0 Comments

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