And so it begins…
My novel planning process initates with tiny pieces swirling around in my head. At a certain point critical pieces come together, the accumulation of dust and gas that in space would be a planet forming.
NaNoWriMo 2019, my sixth, has begun to form.
In September? Yes. In fact, the early brainstorming phase began in August, but I don’t take it seriously until there are enough key elements in place in my head. At that point written notes happen and the process accelerates.
At the moment, because another project is still in progress, and because it’s only mid September, I’m doing my best to tamp down the hyper creativity. Strange, huh? The reason is that when I’m brainstorming in earnest it consumes me to the exclusion of all else.
Won’t I forget facts if I don’t devote myself to book planning?
Oh no. Never. I abide the belief that any ideas worth having will survive. Those that are forgotten? They weren’t good enough. To understand my book planning is to know the ideas behind the dam are all fighting to break through. Right now, it’s too soon.
It’s there behind me, a towering dam, the story filling in behind it, the pressure building. I look forward to churning ideas, but know it’s too soon because this can only end one way: With my exhaustion at the end of November.
So, what do I have to have in place?
I don’t have set pieces that I want outside the main character’s name, location, and a glimpse of the story. Last weekend I sensed all of it was close and then—
Mass. Gravity. Story.
As I’ve talked about before, I knew I wanted to write a standalone novel set in my fantasy world, Ontyre. Too, it’d take place somewhere in Pannulus and would have many elements of women’s fiction. Knowing how I am, some elements of mystery and romance would be present. Beyond that, I wanted to keep locations to a small region or a single large city.
The story’s formation has been on my mind, as I said, since late August. I knew I was close, but held back. There was editing to be done on Torment Surfacing, after all (which will complete within a week).
Last Sunday I knew I was close and went for a walk. Not all of it was revealed then, but enough to know that a little push was all that was needed. When I returned home I brought up the Pannulus map and formation happened.
In keeping with my Ontyre heroines having grandiose names, my heroine for this novel is Zephtasha Ryiel Barcaine. Zepha.
The location was a matter of remembering a fact about the witches of Pannulus. In a different story it’s established that Raspell is a center for witches, but another important location is Cather in the northwest of Sancthor Island. Therefore, the story will take place in and around Cather on the banks of Lake Magus.
The story? Well, that’s the realm of spoilers. Still, I can share a tidbit. Can a dispirited witch on probation, her powers limited, find fulfillment and love in the midst of life going from bad to worse?
It isn’t a lot, in fact it’s a little vague, but I don’t want to say too much yet. What’s important is that it was enough to start the process. In the several days since my walk I’ve written over 2,500 words in notes.
Yes, I’m flirting with hyper creativity. It’s starting to burn.
Already I’ve thrown out several darlings that were initial ideas. They would have required twisting the story into a broken pretzel to make them work. Other characters are surfacing. The plot is growing and spawning subplots. The meaning of bad to worse is increasingly clear.
Not bad for the middle of September. By October I’ll turn my hyper creativity loose and hope I survive it yet again.