Writing Project: Dorian — Update 2

I’ve made it past the first major hurdle in my planning phase. I have a working outline of scenes, and the set of POV characters through which I’m going to tell the story. If past performance is any indication of future results, then this list of scenes will change significantly before I’m done with the first draft. But … gotta start somewhere.

My next task, which I hope to complete this weekend is to flesh out all of the characters, major and minor, by doing write-ups on each one. I already know the main characters well, but I want to elaborate even more on each of them. And I want to have a good set of personalities for all the supporting characters.

As I explained in the last update, I already have a vast history of this story-world laid out in quite a bit of detail, so I don’t need to spend time now creating back-story. However, I may discover things in this process that will improve that history.

After that, hopefully next week, I’m going to elaborate on my outline, turning each of the single-sentence scenes into paragraphs. This process really helps me to see gaps in the story, and to make sure that the flow of all the different storylines for each character make sense and fit together. I don’t intend to expand my outline beyond a few sentences per scene. I know some authors do that, writing out a whole page per scene, but for me I think it’s overkill, at least for this book.

Once I have this detailed outline done, I’ll do some reality checking, such as plotting out dates and times of who’s doing what, when, and where. This helps me with making travel plans for my characters. If they need to get from point A to point B in X numbers of hours / days, and point B is Y number of miles away, then I need to make that happen realistically. Sounds like I’m making an Excel spreadsheet, but it’s not that bad. I just like to do reality checks like this. They help the story be more believable, and they also often illuminate aspects in the plot that I would not have noticed otherwise.

Attaching specific dates to the events in the story also allows me to know (and show) realistic scenery, correct positions of celestial objects, and accurate weather and climate. In this story, the dates follow the local calendar (which is part of that long history) used by the five regions on the continent of Brelya, where all the action takes place.

I’d like to finish these preparation processes by the end of this month (October 2013), but I also have family commitments and Halloween parties to attend. So … we’ll see. Dying to start cranking out the first draft. That’s where the fun really starts.



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About Richard Ewald

Author of Suspense and Fantasy Novels

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