Friday, December 7, 2012

Novel Update

I'm currently working on my most ambitious project yet. It's a near-future semi-sci-fi middle grade novel with oodles of characters and even more twists and turns. I have a rough first draft written (not including the ending, because the originally planned ending has changed). My main character in this story shares my love of logic and planning, but is even more extreme than I am when it comes to organization. In the spirit of her, I've decided to approach the novel just like she would.

As such, I've made lists of everything that must be done before I can tackle Draft 2. I've also made pretty graphs and charts that are yet to be filled in with the following information. Since part of the goal of this blog is to share my writing process with others, here's what I've come up with:

For my major characters (6 people) I must flesh out for each:

- a character arc
- the main lesson(s) learned
- special skill and its use in the novel
- a diary entry from their perspective all regarding the same scene
- family and cultural background
- physical description

For all other characters (about 20-some people or groups of people) I must list:

- name
- age
- description
- motivations
- plot events they trigger for the MCs

Then it's onto the chapter breakdowns. For each chapter I must outline:

- setting
- action
- character development
- technical notes (this is sci-fi, future-y, and must have all tech stuff make sense)

Then I need to draw out and detail two major locations, and two other major tech-y devices that play big roles in the story.

Finally, I want to attempt to write a query letter for the novel just to aid me in picking out the parts that matter the most and confirm what my story is centered around.

I want to begin Draft 2 in January. So I have less than a month to accomplish all this background stuff (you know, in my spare time outside of work and when my brain is fuddled with steroids and pain meds) (I sprained my knee, for those not in the know). I'm not sure how I'm going to do it, but I'm going to try my best. If I can pull this novel off, it's going to be the most complex and epic thing I've ever written.

*Stares at above lists*. But uh...yeah. I certainly have my work cut out for me.

(And for anyone wondering, no, this isn't my NaNoWriMo novel. I drafted this particular novel during Summer 2012.)


  1. There are great points. For my next project (or even tackling another revision on this one) I'd love to use your tips.

    1. Go for it. I've been brainstorming a lot over the past few weeks about exactly what I need to understand about my book to carry my first draft into a meaningful second one. So far, the above is what I've managed to come up with.