I am having so much fun with this plot!
Believe it or not, with three novels under my belt, I did not pre-plot any of them.
Well, that’s not totally true. I had a good idea of what would happen in all three, and figured out the details on the way. I had a vague outline for Children of Rhatlan. I did the NaNoWriMo thing for the first draft, and this was pre-NaNo. At that time, a few of my contemporaries were doing what they called “Novel Dares.” Yes, the dare was to write a novel in a month. It took me about 40 days to write the first draft of CoR, but with about 50,000 words done in the first month, I would have been a NaNo winner… if NaNo had existed. The draft had so many problems that I essentially used it as an outline, and rewrote the book from the beginning.
In Tamshi’s Imp, there are a lot of twists. I knew what was really going on from the beginning, and generally the direction the story was heading. With Amber in the Over World, I don’t remember what I did in terms of plot. I had characters, a world, and a concept, and wrote.
So, Bodacious Creed is the first novel I’m doing an extended outline for before I sit down to write it. This continues to be an amazing process.
For instance, I made an important setting change last Friday. I realized that something big didn’t make sense, so I thought about how it needed to be different, and took notes on it. Then, I started going through the outline with this change in mind. I made the necessary changes. As I’ve been going through it–and I’ve been working more on it today–I started to think of things I hadn’t considered.
The trick is to answer those questions and add new plot points wtihout totally derailing the story. In other words, there are things that still need to happen for it to be the story I want to tell. So, I need to make the new details fit into that context.
Todays are important details, too. I now know how Creed was killed. There’s more conflict and drama happening in town than before. There are several new characters, and some of the existing characters now have a richer backstory.
Time to get back to that outline.
This update, I would say, is long overdue.
Plotting on Bodacious Creed is going great! I’ve done a lot of development on the main characters and setting, and have finished about a third of the plot outline. I suspect it’s going to be split into three parts, and Part 1 is finished. It could end up being four. We’ll see. It looks like Part 1 will basically be the origin story, with the rest covering some strange shit happening in Santa Cruz, California, in 1862, in the Creedverse.
See, I was born in and grew up in Santa Cruz, California, so it makes sense to me to set the story there. I’ll be doing research on what things were like at the time, but expect this alternate city to be thriving, whaver the real place was like at the time. Alternate realities, especially those with a significant difference, like advanced steampunk technology, tend to be different in other major ways. It’s the butterfly effect, the idea that one thing changes everything.
On the Facebook fan page, a member recently posted that I shouldn’t have zombie pigs. Someone else said that I should have zombie cows, and I responded, essentially, “What use would anyone have for zombie pigs or cows?” My uncle made the astute observation, “That calls into question how zombies are made in this world.” If you read through the basic information about the demo reel and the book though, you’ll have a good idea about that. So, while I certainly consider the undead in Bodacious Creed a breed of zombie, some with characteristics very close to your traditional shambling corpses, they are also their own thing.
So, what other news? Plotting, check. Characterization, check. Setting development, which includes research and imagination, check.
Ah, yes. It’s important for me to finish up that developement by November 1 (making the official due date October 31… that’s cool), so that I write the first draft for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)! I already have a writing buddy, another author I’ve known for years, who has done the competition, and finished it, a bunch of times. Six, I think she said. If you are doing NaNoWriMo, too, send me a message! I’d be happy to have more buddies for support.
Hopefully I’ll be able to write at least half of the draft over that month. If not, no worries, I’ll get it done. I currently make my living writing articles during the day. I may even have another job by the start of NaNo, and I am a single dad. I will, of course, make time for the novel. I’ve even quit playing MMO’s (I used to play WoW with a great group of friends) to make sure I have time for this, and my art.
Right, art! I am a 3D modeler, after all, with an MFA in the stuff. This field is pretty competitive, and was hit by the recession right around when I graduated in December, 2011. While I think my demo reel is pretty good, I’m determined to keep making models and to keep improving my work. Since I have Bodacious Creed on the brain, I’m making related 3D models. Right now, I’m modeling one of the characters named by a high-level backer to the Kickstarter project. Rather than use a male base mesh I had alread created, I made a new one from scratch, to brush up on the techniques. I’m really happy with it. I’ve started the sculpting, and plan to get it to a nice high level of detail. I’ve decided not to texture these new models, at least, not right now, in order to really focus on the modeling. They will have good UV maps, though, so that I can texture them when I like.
So, that’s a lot of Creedverse stuff going on!
And with that written, time to get back to my article writing. Getting paid is good. And when the novel comes out next August, I hope everyone who enjoys it will share the news with others. I would so love to make my writing money through my fiction!