I think I’ve worked out who my baddie is now in the Roger Draper story. It’s an amoral monk who acts as a necromancer for hire to the highest bidder. It has taken a bit of time to arrive at who the main evil character/antagonist in my story should be – who is actually doing all the killing, as the main plot is really about how the main character, Roger, gets himself and his loved ones into trouble through his investigations, and how his ideals change because of this. The killings that he is investigating were almost secondary. But I think I have this now, and best of all the necromancer antagonist has links to the love of Roger’s life, Margery Haukwake.
Monthly Archives: February 2009
Snowflake so far
So far so good, I think. I’ve got to stage 3 of the snowflake method without too much drama and found out a lot of solid information about the story and the characters. Stage 3 is to work through important information about each major character: motivation, conflict, resolution, and also a paragraph on the story from the characters perspective, their own personal storyline. I think this is the bit that I have found most useful as it makes you think through the story from the point of view of the character, which adds a lot more depth to the story.
With Roger Draper I have now got to the stage where I feel there needs to be some order brought to the chaos. I need to work out what I should be doing to plan this novel and in what order. Especially as I know that with previous projects I have come unstuck because I have tried to do too much planning or done too little.
What I’m doing now? Editing Bisclavert
Editing Bisclavert again and again and again it seems!
Editing Feedback on Bisclavert
I got a nice rejection for my story “Bisclavert” yesterday from a Fly in Amber, a more mainstream magazine than I am used to submitting too. The rejection was nice because they gave me some good feedback. I was a bit confused too. They basically said they would have published it if it had been shorter and without the first scene. I have written back to them in the hope that if I did edit it they might reconsider. They kindly suggested that if I did trim it a bit there should be no problem for it finding a home elsewhere. A slightly odd but welcome message (I think?).
Showers and Early Morning Inspiration
It’s funny how sometimes I have my best ideas first thing in the morning. Must have something to do with the subconscious mind pondering things while I sleep. Anyway, this has meant that this morning rather than doing some research (I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do on the story this morning), I realised in the shower that I sort of knew what the main plot of the story was going to be and I should damn well write it down once I had thought it through a bit more. Well I do have it now. With the addition of some subplots and fleshing of characters I think I should have a good narrative plan. That will be the lengthier bit though – the characters and their motivations and the fitting of the subplots. I think the main plot works though – it has plenty of rising tension, it puts the main protagonist under a lot of pressure, it has a strong antogonist or two, and it brings into focus the themes of the book, which are the search for truth, and whether ends justify means (i.e. torture and suffering caused by witch-hunts).
Books better than the web for author research?
I always set off with high hopes of being able to pump a search term into Google and getting back some high quality information from amateur websites. In particular when researching for a novel it always seems easier if you can get some information from reading a screen and type up some notes in your electronic research file, rather than sitting down with an actual book and writing notes by hand, and then going back to your laptop to type these up.
Roger Draper Plot and Character research
I have now finished reading the historical surveys about St Albans and it’s abbey. This has given me plenty of ideas for developing my fictional town. This is the part I really enjoy, but which also makes me sligthly nervous with excitement. Why nervous? Well I think it’s because I worry that the decisions I make now about plot and character will have implications further on. What sort of story do I want to write? Will the characters and plot ideas I come up with now work, are they too ambitious, are they too stereotyped and boring? Should I not worry about this too much at the moment, as I can always change things and rewrite. I guess its OK to say that if it’s a minor issue, but if it’s the whole setting of the book then you’re in trouble.
From Agincourt to St Seward’s Roger Draper
I did about 30 rough html docs and may do some more today while watching the rugby – which should be a walkover for England, but you never know, could be embarrassing!
Agincourt Gamebook – initial plan complete
I have now completed the initial plan for the Agincourt gamebook. I decided to keep things simple by only doing the writing for the initial historical deployment and actions of Henry V’s army – so they will start with the same formation and advance towards the French. I have started planning out alternatives to these situations, but it will take quite a lot more writing, so I have decided to see how things look with a shorter historical version.