Tag Archives: writing

Developing a Story Timeline

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My story timeline is my most important tool and the key to any story I write, be it a romance suspense or a fantasy. Now while I’m not a plotter, I do have a general idea of where I want my story to be at when I hit a certain word count. This is nothing as ridged as the ‘3 act’ or ‘5 act’ plotter’s formula because besides the event I don’t have a clue what else will happen.

cover 2For All Things Scary, I’m using the 5 perils Maeko must face as my pivot points. The third one will be the mid-point. The final one will also include her confrontation with the witch, Eduvigos.

As I’ve said while I’m not a plotter, I do take TONS of notes while I write.  My timeline starts off bare but will be packed fill of detail by the time I end the story.

I generally keep two timelines – a general overview and a detailed one. Depending on the genre of my story I use different methods is keeping my timeline. Almost always I use a calendar for my romance suspense. For fantasy, I use the plain timeline method.

Here is an example of the working one for All Things Scary ~

INTRO (5k)

–          Maeko receives the sword of truth – starting her on her quest – this is meant with much opposition especially from Bamely – who sees herself superior to Maeko

–          The witch beheads her 3rd headless horsewoman – fulfilling that part of the prophesy of when she’ll rain darkness down on all of Crencher. Eduvigos fights with her sister revealing the strain of their relationship

–          De is appointed Maeko’s companion – confirming his purpose – romantic subplot

–          De and Maeko leave the Island of Purpose

1st Peril (15k)

–          Maeko and De enter the forbidden caves in Brooly seeking the 1st gem stone

– they encounter trolls – fight

– they hear the furies circling above while camping at night and realize they also seek to stop them.

–          Eduvigos sends her three headless horsewomen out to kidnap the queen of Lukti – another part of the prophesy

2nd Peril (25k)

3rd Peril (35k) – mid point

4th Peril (45k)

5th Peril (55k)

Conclusion – (65k)

 

This timeline is kept in a separate document that I have open while I write adding details as I discover them.  This isn’t my only source of reference, I also mark on my map where events happen and I have character documents that I update with arc info and GMC info.

 

Do any of you keep timelines for your stories? I’d love to hear about your method.

 

 

 

Playlist

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Adding some more music to my playlist for All Things Scary ~

The Lost Tale

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHH8J89mAFQ&feature=c4-overview-vl&list=PL1CDC4E5B01F73E44

King of the North

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vkwz2Bf2OVc

Dance with Dragons

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eV1xumzX8dE

Lord Draig

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-72QSQyoEg

I also picked several from The Hobbit soundtrack ~

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jgkqz2MutA8

 

My heroine’s song ~ Big Girls don’t cry by Fergie

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6sqA9QtV5I&list=PLvDtzd5OdRzrD-eSbKBdBmN6RHdkKGoTI

 

A great general planning music when developing the theme

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZtBJU8RVIA

 

Thanks for stopping by!

13 Things Thursday

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This week I’m doing 13 things about the story I’ve been building All Things Scary.

  1. Ghouls, Reapers, and zombies live in the Land of the Dead – the Banshee’s part of Crencher.
  2. The Land of the Dead is a giant cemetery.
  3. Ferrymen guards the coastline of the Land of the Dead and Granli (the witch’s home)
  4. Humans will probably NOT be a part of Crencher. It will populated by Elf nations.
  5. There will be at least two mountain ranges that will be inhibited with creatures I have created.
  6. The balance between good and evil is fine.
  7. It’s going to have a ‘slight’ steampunk feel. That will be reflected in ‘gadgets’ and creatures.
  8. I still don’t a name for the witch – who is one of the main character :/ I’d welcome all suggestions…
  9. There will be three main characters – the nameless witch, De (means virtuous), Maeko (means honest).
  10. There will be a rainbow every morning in Kontar where Maeko is from.
  11. There will be a treasure hunt.
  12. Crencher has seven moons.
  13. This has been the funniest project to develop to date

Thanks for stopping by! And don’t forget if you have a great witch’s name tell about it.

World Building Wednesday

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Here is the map of Cencher – the land of All Things Scary.

I’ve named the countries and have begun to fill in some of the details. The map will become more detailed as I write. I know there is a vapor swamp in Granli – where the witch lives.

 

Crencher - the home of All Things Scary

Crencher – the home of All Things Scary

I did something a little different with this map. I use a lot – I mean A LOT – of index cards in my writing. Sometimes I punch a hole in the corner and put them on a ring or I make a board to attach them to, etc.

For All Things Scary, I’m going to keep my world building ‘key’ on index cards attached to the map. Like this….

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The cards are attached with tape across the top. As you can see I flip them upside down but this is just personal thing. The ‘tricky’ thing about using index cards like this is taping them. The tape has to be run the full length of the card (I use the top line as my guide which is the reason I flip them upside down) and each one taped separately. Once you have figured out your spacing and taped all of the cards into place, you have two options to get them to flip smoothly.

(1)  This is what I do. You’ll need to cut the tape on each side of the card so flip up. JUST cut the top of the card not all the way through.

(2)  Make a crease in the card where the tape line is.

As always, I welcome all tips/hints or suggestions.

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

 

Headless Horsewomen Character sheet

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The Headless Horsewoman of Granli

What are they?  Women who made a deal with the witch ______________________. (I’ll fill this in when I decide what to name the witch)They are deals that benefit no one but woman making it. The witch cannot into these arrangements with women who want things like ‘better crops,’ etc. When they died she, beheaded them and uses their heads to control them. Their primary purpose is to attack those who threaten or oppose ________________________________.

All three women made a deal with the witch believing they could outsmart her or defeat her. Their story will be weaved in.

Possible opening scene is the creating of the 3rd headless horsewoman.

G: They lack goals of their own – they are now mindless creatures controlled by the witch. Before death it would have varied. But it was their ‘selfish’ goals that lead to them becoming a headless horsewoman.

M: None

C: None

Purpose in the story ~ They add to the witch’s character. They are a sign of her power. They provide hindrance to the hero/heroine

Description:

Horse – when their hooves strike the ground flames erupt. They are black with glowing orange eyes. They are living things – born of evil.

Women –

Bella – the first to make a deal with the witch.  Has served the witch for ___ years. She wields a mace with a fireball on the end. Her dress is royal blue velvet – rumored to be the color her eyes once were. She was known to be the most beautiful woman of all of Crencher. She married King Trivent of Brooly, even though she had money nor was she from royalty. It is said he was so taken by her looks he ignored all protocol to make her his Queen. Even when she died, she remained flawless in her looks.

Lyana – the second to make a deal with the witch. Has served the witch for ____ years.  She wields a flaming sword. She wears a pale purple peasant style top and black riding breeches. Men were unable to resist her charms and gave her lavish gifts so she never had to marry. Her treasure is believed to hidden. There are many rumors as to where.

Greta – she is beheaded in the story. Her deal was that the King of Kontar would never desire anyone but her. He would never be able to deny her anything if she said please. When she is brought to the witch following the death of the king – because the wish is no longer in effect, she will have long flowing red hair. She will be wrinkled and a crone like but on the king’s deathbed he rants of her beauty. She tries to wiggle out of dying by claiming the King gave her the kingdom to rule. It doesn’t matter because that was not the wish.

Tomorrow, it’s the updated map and where my world is going. I’d love to hear any input

 

All Things Scary – character

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This week’s character for All That’s Scary is a banshee. The ‘official’ definition from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banshee ~ the banshee (/ˈbænʃ/ ban-shee), from Irishbean sí [bʲæn ˈʃiː] (“woman of the sídhe” or “woman of the fairy mounds“) is a female spirit in Irish mythology, usually seen as an omen of death and a messenger from the Otherworld.

banshee 2In legend, a banshee is a fairy woman who begins to wail if someone is about to die. In Scottish Gaelic mythology, she is known as the bean sìth or bean-nighe and is seen washing the bloodstained clothes or armour of those who are about to die. Alleged sightings of banshees have been reported as recently as 1948.[1] Similar beings are also found in Welsh,[2] Norse[3][4][5]and American folklore.[6][7]

The thing to remember when taking a known myth like the headless horseman last week while I made major changes I kept the key things the same. I have headless horsewomen yet they are headless 🙂

My banshee is going to be my witch’s (the main character) sister. I like the ‘washing the bloodstained clothes of those who are about to die,’ so I’ll be using that 🙂 Her role is that she can travel throughout my world and works with her sister to ‘corrupt’ people condemning them to the witch’s land. She is going to be the one who brought the witch the three women who become the headless horsewomen.

Both the banshee and the witch are going to be timeless beings (meaning they don’t age). I need to figure out how this is going to work.

What would you do with a banshee character?

World Building – All Things Scary

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I always start my world building with a map. Be it a fantasy world I’m creating or a ‘real’ place. Cursing map outlines on the internet, I tossed around several ideas for different basic landscapes and decided to go with an island. Below is the island outland I’m going to use. I added Halloween stickers and some plastic spiders to give it the ‘scary’ feel.

The beginning of the world...

The beginning of the world…

The ‘heart’ of my story is going to take place in the section in the far right. I haven’t started labeling it because I’m still ‘brewing’ the setting. I picked this section for my witch’s hamlet because of the two bodies of water. Creepy things are going to hang out in there  I’m sure there will forest and a giant spider colony. I’ve also decided my headless horsewomen are going to bounder guards.

I’ve also started making a playlist for this WIP… This is a classical selection. Since I don’t really have the characters formed it’s hard to pick songs with words. But this has a the feel for my world. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgBkU2rc3sA