On Monday I returned to my novel planning after an off week. And, having mapped out two more chapters, I’ve got a confession which should drive my fellow blogger Jean Lee bonkers.
I am enjoying the process of planning this novel 1!
First, Aeon Timeline 2 is a phenomenal planning application which allows me to create characters and locations, define epochs, and create a detailed timeline which follows my story. As I was writing In The Land Of The Penny Gnomes I constantly lost track of time, and by the end I’d given up on the calendar of events. Will was in a fantasy world and time was working weird, and I forgot how many weeks he’d been around. Thanks to Aeon Timeline 2 I know how many days the story is going to need in order to finish, and can tailor scenes to both season and time of day. It’s a big help in world-building.
The character creation engine allows me to assign names, write a bio and notes, and even set a character’s age. I can then track a character’s presence through the story by assigning them as observers or participants for each scene. As each event also is assigned a location, I can also follow the tale as it progresses.
What I find remarkable is how much freedom this process is giving me to construct the tale. Today I created a half dozen minor characters, and invented a form of crime unique to The Realm. This criminal activity impacts the main plot and changed the trajectory of the main protagonists, who will return to a location I hadn’t been envisioning in this sequel. It’s also affording me an opportunity to split the narrative and not feel as though I’m loosing track of the main thread. One of the chapters I mapped out this afternoon follows a secondary plot-line, but because I’m mapping out this secondary arc I know how it will tie back in from the very start. My experiments with splitting the narrative didn’t go well in Welcome To The Valleys, and I think a lack of preparation had something to do with it. This time around I can visualize how this second thread will be woven into the main story. It’s going to be fun to write 2.
Scheduling has not afforded me an opportunity to begin reading In The Land Of The Penny Gnomes for my second draft editing. I hope I’ll get to this next week some time.