Thursday 25th March 2021

Continuing to feel as if I’m not doing anything, I put a load of work into the synopsis today and have pretty much got it complete.  Considering where it was yesterday this was a lot of work.

I find plotting out a novel to get increasingly harder as you progress.  There’s that initial resistance where you are trying to get an idea that works as a novel, but after that I usually have a good idea of the opening chapters and perhaps the end.  I might even have a number of key scenes from the middle of the novel.

But then it’s a case of working forwards and backwards, trying to join everything together.

In the last year there’s been two additions to my process:  first is theme.  That used to be something that I worked out after I had written the novel, but now I plot with it very much in mind.  I find it helps with secondary characters and their arcs which in turn strengthen the main characters.

And then there’s voice, which is a new one.  With this novel I have a prologue.  Weirdly, I might cut it out the finished novel, but I KNOW how that prologue starts and I think it’ll give the novel it’s voice.

Even now as I write this I have a strong idea of the way the novel will be structured.

This one is an interesting one as its got a lot more characters than all my previous novels and I’m not sure how many I will give POV to.  That will come in the writing.

So I’m a little excited on how this one has progressed and I think the hard work is now done.  I just need to write up the outline into more of a synopsis and then write some initial chapters to get a feel for voice (this is new, and will be the first time I will have attempted this)

I’ve got another 2 outlines I’m also working on.  The fun one has stalled a bit.   I’ve got about a 3rd of it done (the easy bits of the start, end and a few scenes) but there are additional story elements (such as secondary arcs) that are really needed before I can really start weaving the bulk of the story.  I stepped away from it to give it a bit of room to breathe.

I did work on the other outline.  This is my epic fantasy which has been back and forth and all over the place.  Some secondary characters I had have been scrapped, which is a shame but I think they might work better as the protagonist in their own story down the road.

I’ve gone back to my initial idea on this and taken the structure of something really obscure as a starting point.  I spent a lot of time yesterday deconstructing this inspiration and fitting it into my plot template.  This is little more than a glorified Hero’s Journey but I find it helps me as a guide.

So with each plot point I’ve asked “How would I take my inspiration and fit elements of it into my world?  How would it differ?”  It’s not intended to be a pastiche but rather as a spark point.  So a car chase could become horses or a race across rooftops, or maybe just following a trail of clues.

What I found though was that I’d pretty much mapped out the inspiration in my first act.  At the moment this is a short novella.

I don’t mind too much as this is an indication to me that this book could be quite fast paced and I like the idea of that.  I’ve also got a plan to go back to my inspiration, pick something similar and map it top the second act.

What I’ll then have is a complete mess, but it’ll be something I can work with.

Who knows though?  This story has been through so many changes that I might scrap everything.  We’ll see though.  I’m still very much in the guts of this plot and as such it still needs a lot of work.

That leaves editing which I didn’t get much done of yesterday.  I did a bit at the end of the day, but after all the other work my head didn’t seem into it, so I probably only got half a chapter done.

Still, with the progress elsewhere I can’t really moan, even if I do feel I didn’t get a lot done today.

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Past Years: 2020 – The Year of Being Fearsome | 2019 – The Year of Soldiering Through | 2018 – The Year of Priorities | 2017 – The Year Of The Offensive