I started working on a novel idea a few months ago. I have the plot down. At least the basic plot. That came through to me really strongly when the idea snuck up on me. At the time, it felt like the world and characters were vivid and that I could start writing.
Well, guess what? I started writing. And you know what? I didn’t know anything. It was like looking at a picture of a city from far away and being able to pick out landmarks. Oh look, there’s the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, the Bay Bridge, or the Space Needle and Pike’s Market. And then assuming because you have a handful of landmarks identified, that you can navigate and live in the city and never get lost.
So I’ve been noodling. I started with the geography and thinking about exactly what the lacy of the land was like. And that meant looking at weather, food, commerce, economy, gods, religion, magic, and so on. Each thing leads to another and raises a ton of questions and answers only a few. But the world is starting to really feel vibrant real. There’s much more to noodle with of course, and I continue to do that. I’ll reach a critical mass soon where I’ll know the characters enough to actually start writing.
I also need a map. I need to get a visual of just what this place looks like. I also want to do an interview with some of the characters. I’ve done some collecting of images on Pinterest for it. So I’m hoping to get some chapters nailed down pretty quick as I explore. It’s a really dark fantasy and I like it. Not a darkness of slavery and cruelty, but of something else. It’s a difficult novel to work with because the concept is hard for me to pin down, even in my head. But I think it will be really cool.