Monday, March 05, 2007

Improved Method

On my web site I mentioned that I'll be using a new method with Windigo (horror / suspense) than I have with my previous two novels - Apparitions (horror / suspense) and Night Wing (dark fantasy). Here's a brief summary of the new system -

All characters (big and small) are written out on 3x5" cards.
Each character with major to moderate roles are color coded with different markers
Each character with minor roles are color coded all in yellow.

I'm keeping a running set of cards on 'Detail' - ie the details of the fictional town I've created for Windigo.

Each scene or sequel is written out on a card and color coded in the VP (view point) character's color. Included on the card is a list of details (sensory type stuff - this addition is thanks to M.B Weston), list of actions, brief summary, list of emotions and most importantly the RESULT (effect) of the scene.

Working with a cause and effect system I list out each scene and sequal, make a calendar allotting for when each happens in 'fiction time'. Then I break these cards into chapters usually consisting of 4 average sized VPs or up to 7 short ones.

Then all of these are placed neatly into an index file with appropriate segments ie - Characters, Details, Chapter 1, Chapter 2 and so forth.

On top of this file I keep a 3 pronged folder with print outs of the major characters' bio sheets, intensive write up of the area and general plots (broken into the main plot and the various sub plots).

Annnnd I keep a spiral notebook (usually a matching color - I lean heavily to purple ;) ) where I do my bubble charts, notes and various other doodling.

It seems intensive but for anyone that's taken on a novel length work organization is key! Or in my case, organised chaos...

So this is my new system. Once Windigo is out you can let me know if it worked!

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About the author -

Raven Bower
is the author of the upcoming horror novel, Apparitions (ArcheBooks 2007)

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