1. Annihilation

    Annihilation Active Member

    Oct 23, 2014
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    Phoenix, Arizona

    Having trouble with novel

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Annihilation, Sep 15, 2015.

    Well just a few tidbits of my novel so far,

    It's about a Spanish war against a mythical cult and there are characters that I want to have a great significance to the story,

    But I have a specific form of how I want things to be. I want it to have a prologue, (already done) part I, part II, and part III with an epilogue.

    Now I'm in the middle of part I and I need some advice on how to organize the characters' story building. I tell about two men who are victims and then I tell about another character who I plan to have a very meaningful presence but what is the best way to organize these characters lives.

    I usually plan out everything from beginning to end before I write but this time I plan on telling so much because I want this story to be very long. So I only planned out the biggest points in the story and I'm working from there.. What do you guys think?

    Another note, it's a fantasy so mysterious things do happen but is there any way not to put it so cheesy like "we must kill the witches before our souls are damned!" Or "I know how to time travel now!" ?
  2. J. Blake

    J. Blake Member

    Aug 29, 2012
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    If by 'character's story building' you mean how can you create a real backstory for your characters, it's a matter of knowing them before you write them down. In another thread, I talk about writing 'character journals' -- journal entries in the voice of your character -- to help create a fresh, unique voice to your character while also creating backstory.
    Some good things to know about these characters beforehand could be: age, religion (if applicable), occupation, how do they dress/walk/talk, where were they raised, how did this effect them currently, what do they want, what do they fear, what's their weaknesses, etc.

    As far as your second question (pertaining to how you're writing the story itself), I would say: write however works best for you. Some prefer to work with only the biggest plot points in mind, some write with no plan whatsoever, and some prepare extensively before typing a single word of their story. There's no 'one way' to do things. I would say give it a try and see how things feel -- if it works for you, go ahead. If not, if you start 'suffering' from 'writer's block', you know you need to return to the drawing board and maybe re-think your approach.

    My personal thoughts: If you're planning on writing a large-scale fantasy novel, it would seem to me that there are a lot of elements you have to keep straight. Setting, character backstories, plot points, goals/motivations, different creatures, etc. To do all of this 'off-the-cuff' sounds a little ass backwards. What you don't want to happen is to get 15-20k words in -- or worse, finish the damn thing -- and realize that 80-90% of what you wrote is either going to have to be cut or entirely redone due to poor pacing, plotting, or just continuity.

    On your final thing -- it's all execution. Create characters with depth, a world that we believe, fresh dialogue and from there the reader will believe almost anything. This is why I speak about preparation. It's pretty general advice, I know, but without knowing anything about your story that's really the best I can do.

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