(Image pays homage to one of my fave authors: Holly Black)
Beautiful chaos. This is essentially how I refer to my novel planning. As ideas build in my head I tend to read up on how others have planned their novels to see if there is a better way to do it.
This time I was taking inspiration from Christopher Paolini, author of the Inheritance series. I have long loved Eragon and his dragon, Sapphira. And knowing Mr. Paolini wrote Eragon as a teenager, I was curious as to his methods of creating such a detailed, masterful series. (If anyone has seen the movie but not read the books, please DO NOT judge the book by the movie. That film was abysmal and almost nothing like the book. I highly recommend watching the “The Book Was Better” review of this on YouTube. **warning** There are spoilers!!!
Mr. Paolini stated in one of his interviews that, as far as planning, he spends about a month mapping out all the major events in his story. He writes a paragraph for each event and then begins writing from there. This idea appealed to me very strongly.
In the past I have tried beginning with one sentence, turning it into a paragraph, then to a page, etc, but kind of hated it. I’ve also done a brief chapter by chapter summary which was better, but also drive me a tad batty. I know everyone’s writing process is very personal to them, and different things work for different people. But! As I have previously stated, I live in a world of chaos and tend to write as such. It’s sporadic because with two small kids, my time is very limited, and I tend to be left writing late at night in a haze of exhaustion. So to write only a paragraph for each major event sounded right up my alley, and seems to be working for me so far.
I have written three chapters in my new novel based on what I’ve mapped out, and I have to say, I am quite pleased with it so far. Beauty and the Beast has been my favorite since I was a small child, so to be creating my very own retelling and unique spin on it is like meeting a favorite celebrity and getting to help style them. Not to mention, the “Belle” character is based on one of my favorite people in the world.
What’s your writing process? I’d love to hear what works for you!