Friday, December 10, 2010

A Somewhat Major Breakthrough

I have belatedly realized that my series needs a lot more work than previously anticipated.

A lot more.

Though, really, this shouldn't be so surprising to me. After all it was a NaNo and everything. But really, I don't think I could ever have expected the sheer amount of work that will need to go into this story. The research and the reworking and everything. Last night, I discovered that every single one of my characters are as flat as the paper they're written on, and will continue to be so unless I work on them. I learned that the world needs a lot more work, and not just the history and legends and that kind of thing,  but the lay of the land. Mountains, forests, things like that. Even the cities themselves are flat. The cities I wrote about have no character, aren't unique in any particular way. I didn't differentiate very much of anything between countries and the like, I actually hardly even mention them.

And then there is the magical system which needs to be much more defined and developed than it is at the moment. It's really quite pathetic right now I think. I've still gotta figure out the rules for the magic and so many things.

So, in short, my book is a pile of slush at the moment and is in desperate need of revisions and research.

But, even though I am a bit put out by this revelation, I am actually excited. Like, really excited. The only problem is that I'm not entirely sure where to start. I mean, I know what I need to research, but I just don't know where to start with it all.

But I did actually do something substantial regarding my story today. I greatly expanded the small map I had previously. I really like it, I want to take a picture of it but am wary of doing so. I had to break out the giant floor pad paper that we got years ago for my baby cousin. This thing is like two and a half foot wide and two foot tall. I traced my previous map onto here and then added to it, bringing more of the world onto the page. It's fabulous but still only a small fraction of the world. I have a very strong urge to tear out a bunch of these large pieces of paper and tape them together and draw until I have all the world finished. I might actually do that tonight, it sounds fun! But I have a feeling it will be ridiculously large. . .

I have decided that it is a near waste of time to read through my book any longer at this point because so much of it needs to be trashed and I already have a pretty good idea of what needs to be done. I'm going to get all this research and stuff out of the way so I can have a more developed world and more developed characters and then I will start over, write everything from scratch again. I have a feeling that by that point the whole story will be different, but I know that it will be a better different, and that it will be so much better than what I have right now.

And also, has anyone read or heard of The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss?

I remember finding it awhile ago and thinking it might be good but I never bought it or anything, just put it on the wish list. But the other day Ted Cross mentioned Patrick Rothfuss's blog and I checked it out and remembered The Name of the Wind, read the excerpt and have decided that it will probably be one of the best books I will have read.

I had totally forgotten about this book until the day before yesterday, but since then, I have been obsessed with it and made the mistake of tacking it on to what I want for Christmas. So now, I can't really buy it until after Christmas because someone may have bought it as a gift. I so wish I had said nothing.

And another awesome thing is that this is a BIG book. Like nearly 700 pages big. And his second book (which will be out in march)? Well, it's just over 900 pages long.

So, if anyone has read this book, please let me know what you thought! (Spoiler free, of course.)


Trisha said...

I haven't read that book, and yes I am one of those weirdos who's never heard of the guy - even though I am a fan of fantasy from way back :D Sounds like you do have a lot of work to do on your own fantasy world, but it's awesome to be inspired! Means it will turn out sooo much better. I've got a ridiculously messy fantasy series/world of my own, which I hope to work on properly someday. But I keep getting distracted by novels that are much easier to tackle, since they're not half as messy as my fantasy one(s). ;)

Claudie A. said...

You wrote 100,000 words in a month. Don't worry, it's quite normal that most of it is only slush-worthy. It will need to be rewritten, and that's a good thing. You put the ideas down during NaNo, in an almost brainstorm-ish way. They're not meant to be all pretty. :)

Now, I've been through what you're living right now (in fact, I'm going through it again this year!), so I do have a few tips to share on where to start.

Either you start big and get smaller (which is what you seem to be doing with the map), or you start small and expand from there. I tend to alternate.

When I worldbuild, I tend to always ask myself questions. No matter what you decide to include, it's very important to know *why* it's that way in your world. There's an explanation behind everything, and you can find out what are the influent elements when they're recurrent answers to "why?". It's a super handy question. Play the four-year-old kid and ask why about everything. ;)

Also, brainstorm a lot and put those ideas in order after. Try to link different areas (religion, politics, cultures, etc. etc.)

Last, but certainly not least: Have fun. :D

Book Owl said...

Trisha- Don't worry, I hadn't properly heard of the guy until now either ;)
Yeah, but I can't wait to properly get started! I've got the ideas coming in, now I just gotta write them down and figure them out. . .
Good luck with your fantasy world! Don't let all those other stories get completely in the way :)

Claudie A- I should have known. But somehow I didn't quite expect all of it to be slush :|
Thanks for the advice! I don't know why I've never really thought of the 'why' question. I've been coming up with lots of ideas for my world today and as they pop up that 'why' question has really been coming in handy! I just keep going deeper and deeper into my world! Thank you for that bit of advice :D

Oh, and I'll definitely be having fun ;) Have fun with you're story too :D