Carol Berg January 19th, 2008
So funny that David should come up with his great How to Write a Novel post just now. Exactly twelve days after launching Breath and Bone — the culmination of the most intense writing project of my life, begun with a paragraph back in May 2004 — I agree with my publisher on a new 3-book epic fantasy series, tentatively titled The Sabrian Veil. Cheers and happiness all around…and then panic sets in…
I look back at the Lighthouse books – and my other two series – and see how complex they are, and I am absolutely daunted at beginning again. It is no wonder that so many authors find themselves going back again and again to the worlds they’ve created.
But then I start twiddling with my notes, and before I know it, I’ve started and ended a war in the distant past, and filled out a sketch of the nature of magic in Sabria – because the conflict in this series derives, in part, from the nature of magic, the differences between popular belief, manipulated perception, and truth. And Real Soon Now, I’ll commit by writing the first chapter. I had to know enough of the world and characters to write the book proposal – which was very hard for an anti-outliner like me. But I’ll flesh it out only enough to write the first chapter. I write sequentially and spirally – ie. I start at the beginning and write through to the end. Each day I begin writing by revising what came before. No real drafts at all. But that’s what has worked before, and I’ve got to have that jump off the cliff faith that it will happen again.
If anyone is interested, I’ve decided to record the daily bits of this particular development cycle on my personal blog, Text Crumbs. Join me there, if you’re interested in the sordid details.
Cheers to all. Don’t Panic.