After doing a little bit of prep work I can say with great confidence I may have jumped the gun a little. It’s nothing horrendous, but I could have saved myself a good bit of trouble and rewrites. Ok, so here’s the deal: I’ve been working on some semblance of my story for a year now. After my initial round of writing I have been taking the long way around with my rewrites. I’ve had trouble with plot points. I got to the point where I was convinced that the story I was working on was actually the second book in a series and I made a whole outline for the story that happened previously to that one. Things got to be a bit of a mess and so I went back to the drawing board.
Ok, Mitch. Do some homework. You know who these characters are, you just need to make some notes and have some consistency. Make some decisions about who they are and figure out what they really want. You know, use all that stuff you learned working towards that theatre degree about breaking down a character. Low and behold, once I started to make some notes about characters, set some rules for how magic worked and why some people have powers and some don’t, this stuff started to make some sense. I think I have a solid start to the novel and I get to use the characters I had been working on for a while instead of hoping the first story worked out so I could get to them in book 2 eventually. Nope, I needed to trust myself more. These characters were good and it’s okay to start with some history already on the table.
I started working on a book aesthetic and create a collage of some images. I got interested when I hit up a monthly regular writer’s chat (#Chance2Connect) and we started talking about novel aesthetics. It helped to put some faces to the people I see in my head. Ideas started to become more concrete. I had done so far in my attempts to make the story fit that I had gotten away from what made the story good in the first place. You guys need to read about Alex, Kyle, Joanie, and Nora. They need to be there at the beginning and trying to work around that isn’t going to work.
So, I still have some character notes to flesh out and some world building to do, but I feel a lot better about where I’m coming from. The story will be clear with stakes firmly in place. It’s going to be cool, funny, thrilling, and scary. It’s a year since I started putting things together for this story and I’m still excited about it. More to come soon.
In the meantime, this is the first book aesthetic I came up with.