Wednesday 17 September 2014

(vol 1) CHAPTER 32: “Brick by brick”

Writers are creative people. It’s what we do. It’s in our blood.

I’m enjoying writing at the moment. I’m busy editing TATTOO in the evenings when I have access to my laptop (and more importantly Scrivener) while flexing my more creative side during my work lunches when I only have access to pen and paper.

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been busy planning my new project which will be written during Novembers NaNoWriMo and then published in bite sized ‘Issues’ starting January.

The project is called FALLEN SWORDS and it’s been brewing slowly from a joke for the last six months. After a work colleague was fired in front of everyone in my office I compared his exit to the shocking character deaths of A Game of Thrones.

The next day my brain started doing its thing and I began to convert events around that day and my place of work in general, giving colleagues roles in a clichéd epic fantasy. I even scribbled a quick world map based on the office layout and made a few story notes.

And that’s where it stopped until a couple of weeks ago. I went looking for something to work on for when I only had access to my notepad and it waved its little hand, begging to be taken more seriously.

I haven’t written anything like this in quite a while and I’m really enjoying the world building aspect of it. As I can’t write a single word of the actual story until November 1st I get to use my daytime writing planning characters, places and history. So;

Map of the entire world? Check.

Timeline that includes all major events before, during and after the story? Check.

List of characters both major and minor? Check.

There’s a big divide over fictional fantasy worlds and whether they should have maps locked down before a single word of story is written. Some writers say it’s a waste of time when there is far richer world building to be done like characters and cultures.

Me? I need a map. It’s the first thing I look for in a fantasy book and it’s the first thing I think about when writing any stories not set in our world. I love to let my mind wander with how characters and cities look and feel but I yearn for that map so that I can place everything in relation to everything else.

And so it’s been. My map (after five attempts) is nicely sketched out with surrounding land masses that won’t feature for the first year of the project. I have a long, long list of characters who, again, won’t all feature within the first year of the project. And, after a mega brainstorm session at lunch today, my world now has its magic system. It’s not intricate but it’s also not simple. The magic is vital to the plot and I needed to get it right. I’m confident I’ve done just that.

So on I go. I’m now busy planning stories and fitting the timeline snuggly together while adding more detail to the map. I plan to add a page to the blog for all things FALLEN SWORDS related, a kind of hub with links to the stories as they’re posted.

It’s been a busy, mixed up year full of false starts and new ideas but I’m hoping to have settled down now. This is it; episodic sword & sorcery project by day and sci-fi novella by night. 

Now I’m off. Lots more world building to do.

See you in seven.

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