I know. This is a strange day, indeed. You may want to mark it on your calendar. 😉
Yesterday I spent the morning and most of the afternoon working on my characters and my plot for the second book in my Knight series. I figured the best way to tackle this it is to have a road map of sorts instead of just winging it.
Don’t worry. I’m still going to wing it. Mostly. 😉
But first things first. I took my two characters, my Hero and Heroine. I already had their backstory down from the first book (or most of it) so I knew their history. I also knew what types of people they were. So it was easy to pick their core archetype. I added a second layer because that’s who they are. I already had a faint idea of what I wanted the story to be about (ultimately a love story with a quest).
I wrote a lot of handwritten notes. A LOT. I explored who they were, their goal/motivation/conflict. I realized then I needed a villain. So I did the same exercise for him. Who was he? What did he want? Why was he evil? What did he hope to gain? I answered all these questions. And then I did the same for a secondary antagonist. By the time I figured out WHO my characters were, all I had to do was figure out WHAT the story was about.
I’d been studying my master plot book. I figured out the story was actually about Love (aren’t all romances?) but it was a Quest, too, with a dash of Adventure. I wrote down specific plot points for each character in order to achieve their story arc. By then, I knew where I needed my story to go. I knew what the end had to be, where the climax was, who would win and who would lose. In the end, I had six pages of character/plot. Two of those pages was the synopsis, single-spaced. It’s not highly detailed but it’s enough to get me from Act 1 to Act 3. It’s enough to give me the leeway of creating on the fly while giving me that map of where I want to go (and not getting stuck). The other four pages were all character outlines. Not so much what they look like, but who they are. What their CORE is. What they want, why, and how they’re going to get it (and what happens if they don’t).
And you know what? I enjoyed doing that. After working on it for nearly six hours, I felt like I had a solid story with unforgettable characters. I’m excited about it!
I also think I need a road map, especially because I tend to get bored with one story at a time. So I’m going to try the unthinkable. I’m going to try to write two different stories at the same time. I may be getting way ahead of myself but I’m at least going to give it a shot.