I’ve spoken to a friend of mine, one who understands the tribulations I’ve been through with my writing. I was telling them about all the work I’ve done getting my next novel together: the designs, the characters, the layouts, the plotting. Even the scope goes well beyond anything I’ve done to this point. Because even though my Transporting stories go all over time and space, they never, to me, feel huge. They tend to be about two or three or four characters within that world, and that’s it. You don’t see much of the universe beyond their doors.
With The Foundation Chronicles, I’m all over the world. My school design started in the the late 17th Century and expanded like a fortress. I’ve centers and schools around the world. I have students from every location and walk of life. In the first couple of chapters I go from Cardiff and Bulgaria to London to Amsterdam to Boston, and then to SIGEL, the school hiding among a grid of magic and technology.
There’s a lot of imagining going on. There’s a whole lot of atmosphere I’m trying to create and build, so it’s a bit of a daunting task.
What it is mostly is a hell of a lot of work. More so than I’d first imagined.
While I was plotting things out last night I realized at one point that I’d missed a few things when setting up my text blocks. I doubled checked my time line, and was like, “Damn, either I’m tired or there’s just way too much here.” Probably a bit of both, since the last couple of work days have been real mind benders, and I was pretty much forcing myself to put things together. But that is the risk you run when you are working and, well, working: you get off one job tired and you bring that to the next.
When your next involves building a big-ass world, it’s a bit crazy to think you’re going to get it all right the first time.
One of my friend put out the message, “Is everyone preparing for NaNo?” I joked back, “What are these preparations you speak of?” because that’s all you hear these days. But it did get me thinking about this story, and I’ve been preparing for this novel since before Camp NaNo. If I go back through my blog posts–which I won’t do now because I’m short on time–I’ll probably find I started the ground work for this story back in June. June to November is six months, and that’s a lot of work to throw into what should be a pretty straight forward story.
It’s almost all there, however. As time grows short it also seems to slow down, and just when I don’t think there’s enough time to get it all done, I shock myself. I checked the clock last night and discovered it was only nine PM, and I’d though it was later than that, because I’d been deep in the tale getting dates and time right. So many time slowed down for me? I can’t say–that’s for the ones smarter than me to figure out.
There we go: a little over five hundred and thirty words in twenty minutes. I can still do it when I need to crank.