Author Kimberlee Ann Bastian has stopped by my blog today with a guest post for her blog tour. Check it out!
Tools to creating the Road Map
By: Kimberlee Ann Bastian
To keep a story in check, some writers use outlines, some posted notes, others journals. Me, I use them all and as an added bonus, I literally use a map. From the start, I had a map of Chicago printed out so I could dot the path for Charlie and Bartholomew accordingly. Once I had the visual, I started in on the outline, which ended up looking more like storyboards without the images. Along the way, I wrote ideas down in my journal as they came and used posted notes as reminders. At times, I would come to roads still under construction in which case I would dig into the “encyclopedia” which houses a lot of my historic research and character profiles.
The main storyline surrounding Charlie and Bartholomew as they come across the non-supernatural elements of the story was by far the easiest thing to handle. The secondary part of the storyline, the mythology surrounding Bartholomew was a bit trickier. I knew which supernatural elements I wanted to introduce early on, but the question became how much do I reveal without bogging down the essential story. As the drafts evolved and the mythology of the series grown, it became apparent; I needed a three-tear process. The Orphan, the Soulcatcher, and the Black Blizzard would focus more on the human element with a sprinkle of supernatural, Book Two would Annie-up the mystical elements and by Book Three the gloves would be off and a high-fantasy storyline would resolve the first third of the nine-part odyssey.
Writing three books, or at least rough drafting three books truly helped with the foreshadowing of the mythology. Without it, certain items may not have been introduced properly. For instance, it is imperative the reader know that Bartholomew knows a secret, but not what that secret pertains, at least not yet. They will get an idea, but the relevance to Book One puts it on the back burner. Another example is the introduction of four key players in the series, The Golden Faun, the Black Tortoise, the Shepherdess and The Trickster. Like Bartholomew’s secret, none of these characters are merely stars on the road map with no roads leading to them.
With a story so dependent on mythology in the secondary storyline, it is vital to think ahead and know ultimate where you want to end. It does not have to happen all at once, but it is good to know if there is a gas station up ahead.
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