Saturday, November 24, 2012

How to visualise a world

Keeping track of places is hard, especially when using apple maps. Luckily, we writers get to make it all up as we go along, and no one will die if we decide to move a city. But eventually you have to go back to a place you went or spoke about already and then, just like in the real world, it helps if everything is where it should be.

I don't know how other people do it -- i'm guessing scrawled sketches on napkins -- but I've tried to make it all a little more ordered this time round. I want my sequel to not only be consistent with the first book, but also expand on the world i've created.

So as I work on refining 'The Sceptre and the Sword' I am referring to, (and sometimes enforcing godlike powers of continental drift) to the map of Arkadia that will hopefully make it into the published copy.

As of today, this is where i'm up to.

Still lots of work to do, but it really helps when writing the detail of a chapter if I can refer to this map and describe the direction of travel, for instance, between Thaumaturge and Celenia.

Of course, you could argue that all this is just elaborate procrastination and I really should close photoshop, get off blogger and get back to writing.

And you'd be right.

November is almost over, after all.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

November novels

I just finished the paper edit of 'The Sceptre and the Sword'. The plan is to make all the corrections before the end of November, no matter how daunting a task that seems.

I am taking courage from two things -- first that it is NaNoWriMo and lots of people are writing entire first drafts in the next four weeks.. and secondly, from an article I read in a Vice magazine while waiting to see a film last night.

The entire article can be found here, but the choice quote is this:
I was amazed that you wrote most of these novels in less than a month, but then I read that Michael Avallone novelized Beneath the Planet of the Apes in three days. It seems that’s the industry standard. How is it possible to write so quickly?
The first thing is you don’t do much else, you just write.
The article is about Alan Dean Foster, who wrote many novelisations of films. He goes on to talk about his process, but it struck me that I should approach my book the same way.

I find it too easy to get lost in the self doubt of plot and logic and it stops me from just getting the damn thing done. If I abandon all that and treat my concept like a film I saw, one in which I have a deadline to craft into prose -- then the work becomes easier. I don't think I could get an entire novel done in three days, but I do think it is going to make it easier to face the work and keep things moving.

So that's the lesson for the day, and I hope it helps all of you who are taking part in NaNoWriMo. 

Now to try and decipher the scrawling notes I have graffitied all over my MS.


P.S. The film I saw was 'Safety not Guaranteed' and you should all immediately go and see it now. Most uplifting film I have seen in a long, long time.