Today I skimmed over my first novel attempt - Junk Yard Angel. Although I'd written this close to 4 years ago, I'm pleasantly surprised by the writing in this first draft. I see a lot of places where improvements can be made and some places I'm going to delete, but there are a lot of pieces I will definitely include in the second draft. It's a relief to know I was not a completely terrible writer, and that I've improved over the years. It can only get better from here right?
Mind maps are like my thing now. They used to be when I was far younger, encouraged by English teachers to use planning, then I stopped when I found the joy of discovery writing, but now I see the value of them once again and have become an official Plantser. Mind maps allow me to contain all my ideas, plots, characters, and general thoughts into one document, divided into pages for each topic.
- Main Story: Details the overarching theme. Lists all significant plot points and any side arcs.
- Characters: Lists every character, role, character arcs,growth points and anything else related to the character.
- World: Maps out the world and the continent/countries. Detailed descriptions for each location. Points out key locations and how they tie in to characters, main story and anything else significant.
- Also includes details regarding culture, religion, technology, weather, people, economy, fawn, flora, etc etc
- Technological Advancement: Explains where the world is technologically, and what the current world utilizes in day to day activities.
- Resources: All links, references, pictures etc used to form the novel.
I've been reading the Mammoth Book of Steampunk for a number of months now. Steampunk is one of those sub-genres that fascinate me. It requires a lot of research to keep it authentic, while inventions need plenty out-of-the-box thinking.
For Junk Yard Angel, the first thing I will be tackling is the in-depth research. I'm exploring current trends in technology and wondering how they would work in an alternate Earth where there's no electricity but steam. How it would have come to fruition. What technology in real life was invented during the pre-electricity era, and what could have propelled those inventions forward had electricity failed.
The story is also set in various locations, which means each place has technology unique to them. Different people and cultures will also have varying needs. Weather and temperature will affect requirements. Weaponry. Living space. Lifestyle. Religion. All of these aspects have to be explored and meted out in order to build a believable living world.
I'm genuinely excited. My mind is already creating images and scenery inspiring me forward. Mind maps are starting to shape up. World building is also one of my favourite parts of writing a novel before the real hard work begins.
I hope you continue with me on this journey towards writing my novel.