I don’t outline. Anything resembling an outline invariably turns out to be a bad idea (presents as evidence, Evil Fantasy Novel). Last year reminded me that even having plot points can be problematic. I am happily writing along when I remember Something Has To Happen at this point. It makes things harder, slower, ploddinger. (Is so a word, I just used it in a sentence.) So, a start. An idea of the end. And knowing the characters and their world.
I have some questions I try to ask. Last year, in the lead up to Nano, I wrote about them in the Nano-Tas Facebook group and I don’t really feel like revisiting them in detail, but I do want to to consider them.
Question one is: Who is your Main Character?
Occupation, position in life, defining characteristics. Not eyes/hair/height, but who and what they are.
Evin (whose name isn’t Evin but MC#1 wasn’t working and Evin is the name of the character from the original version of the opening scenes*. If he doesn’t like, he can tell me his real name), a contrary character who doesn’t like to talk about himself. He does like to go over the opening scenes, again. This is good.
and Beth, who does like to talk about herself, and her world, and anything else I want to know. (She’s a magician who runs a worldwide computer system.) I have a bad feeling once I start trying to write her, she’ll shut up and refuse to cooperate.
*Back in 2000, I wrote a series of story starts every day as an exercise and one of them these I am using for my opening scenes.
(Shadowy characters, from ghost tour last year.)