The official blog of Jane Domagala


Pre production is an important part of writing a novel. Starting a novel without any pre-thought can be like fumbling in the dark for the light switch. In part 1 I spoke of getting an idea for a story and getting to know your characters. This post is on plot and world building.

This is as important as your characters. In fact, your characters and the plot are usually entwined. I never begin a novel unless I have some idea of how it's going to end. Rarely do you get in your car, without a map, and just drive. If you don't know where it is you're going, you could end up getting lost. Plotting is like a map. It shows you all of the possible routes you can take, but without a destination they're all pretty useless. You don't need to know all of the roads you'll take to get to your destination, and sometimes you can still get lost, but if you've done any plotting then, like a map, you can refer to it and get back on track.

The road you take may change depending on your characters and how they respond to intersections (conflicts). Plots and subplots are a useful way of adding conflicts to your character's lives. Need some spice? Add a subplot about an old rival who's back in town, or give your character a task that threatens to take them away from the main plot, thereby putting more pressure on their shoulders to complete both their task and save the world.

Your plot has to be flexible, as your characters will want to deviate from time to time. But remember, you have a destination and you don't want to be late to the party, so remind your characters where it is they're going and they'll be sure to come back around.

World Building
When writing fantasy, world building is essential. Even if you're writing urban fantasy, you still need to know your setting. World building can be a big job, especially if you're starting from scratch, as I often do. One useful tool is to look at our own world. We have such an amazing planet with diverse landscapes, weather conditions, cultures and species. Draw from all that is around you to create your own unique world.

Know as much about the world as you can before you start writing. Does the setting change? What is the weather like and will it have an effect on how your characters live or make their decisions? Are there lots of trees, or is the land barren? Do mountains divide countries? Is there gold, or precious elements in the ground worth fighting over? How do the people work with/against the land?

World building is so much more than just the physical surroundings. Is there more than one race? How do different cultures relate? Do they clash? Is religion important? What rights do men, women and children have? Is there a social structure? Who rules the land? How is it run?

And what about animals and plants? I could go on. World building is really about using your imagination. Have some fun with it.

Next time: Pre production Part 3, Character and Story Arcs.


Extremely useful and insightful as always :)

Looking forward to Part III


Post a Comment

Free Website templatesMusiczik.netfreethemes4all.comLast NewsFree CMS TemplatesFree CSS TemplatesFree Soccer VideosFree Wordpress ThemesFree Blog templatesFree Web Templates