Tuesday, 15 November 2016

First steps

So how exactly does one go about plotting for a book...?

Where does it all begin?

Well in my case the prep started a few years back, a long time before I even considered taking writing more seriously. It happened while I was working a full-time job back home that required me to drive around a lot. During that time I would listen to all sorts of music in my car and simply let my mind wander off. As my ears listened to the soft tones or dark beats floating in the background, a variety of scenarios and characters would pop into my mind and gradually take form. Within weeks I had a simple set of characters and a half dozen scenes that linked more or less into a coherent plot.

Writers often use music as their source of inspiration and I totally agree, it really does promote your creative side and in my case, it inspired my plot. It seemed all that time and money wasted driving for hours to find my next job actually served a purpose. Of course I would also like to mention that I kept my eyes firmly on the road the whole time and never had an accident ^-^

Today I don't drive at all. It's one of the perks of living in Tokyo, public transportation is really efficient here. My daily commute has turned into a safer version of "creativity time" as I like to call it when my mind wanders off while I listen to music. I found that this also happens more often than not in the shower as well. It's apparently a scientific fact that people come up with their ideas in the shower because one of the keys to creativity is relaxation.

So there's the origin of my book.

I didn't know back then that I would one day consider actually writing it, but a seed was planted and over the years it has grown, morphed and changed into something more substantial.

Of course there is still a long road ahead.

So this brings us back to the first question, how does one go about prepping their novel?

Well in my case, I had started taking notes about plot points, characters and world-building over the last few months and decided if I wanted to be serious about my writing, I needed to really start delving into my world and research as much as I could.

My novel is set in an alternate fantasy version of Ancient European history and so I have spent the past weeks researching heaps about gods and ancient empires and systems. However, because my novel is an alternate universe that involves magic and gods, I decided I didn't need to stick to history so accurately. On the contrary, shaking things up should make the story that much more interesting.

So then comes to hard part of picking and choosing what to borrow from history and what to tweak for the purpose of my own world. It's a hard process, it seems to be the same amount of work as building a world from scratch and it's very time consuming.

I have given myself another month or so to continue outlining and plotting, not only my novel's world but also with the characters within, and then will come the time to write.

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