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Thursday, January 17, 2008

WIP - Week 1

So what happens in the early stages of a new novel?

I have a few documents that I started as I began developing this new story.
Timeline - to help me keep the backstory straight leading up to my opening - ages and timing for who knew what will be critical.
Glossary - to help me list new terms, names of characters and places as they come up.
World Notes - where I am defining a few major components of the world, especially the truth and popular perceptions of magic - which is the essence of the series' conflict. This won't be comprehensive, as I like to leave many things so I can invent as I go along. Somehow when it is written down, it starts to solidify, and in many cases that's not what I want at this point in the process.

I start the day by reviewing these documents, noting the new ideas that have cropped up since this project got serious, and I immediately get sidetracked. Where?

My thesaurus and my English/Latin, English/Greek, and Babelfish online translators - because I'm trying to think of just the right name for a governing body. Phillip Pullman, darn his hide, has used Magisterium.

My name books - because I can't get into a character's head without knowing his or her name.
The internet in general. Today's wanderings take me to a neobyzantine web site that I can't figure out for a while. It had smatterings of history of Orthodox Christianity and its roots in the Byzantine Empire. But then I realized it was some sort of byzantine nationalist site - no kidding.

Geez - these things EAT UP time...

Colorado weather today: Brrrr...frosty.


Etoiline said...

Thanks for sharing. I didn't think you'd have any trouble figuring out what to say!

I broke down last year and bought an English/Latin dictionary (a small one, because I'm just a poor lab tech) but it's amazing how often that thing's come in handy.


carolwriter said...

This is maybe way too easy. I guess that's why there's something like 13 million new blogs every day.

Yep, Latin is extremely useful. I took it in high school, but I can't recite much beyond amo, amas, amat and veni, vidi, vici. Of, course, you get into it, and you can read 99% of the words just because English is so closely derived from it.

Carmen Webster Buxton said...

Hi, Carol! Welcome to the Blogosphere! I see you went with Blogger. I'd be interested to hear how you like it after you've been blogging a while. I'm on Live Journal here but I have a Google account which lets me comment on Blogger sites with my own name.

Congrats on the book deal. I didn't realize broody necromancer got three books. Or is it one book per major character?


carolwriter said...

Hi Karen!

Yep, I dabbled with both and liked the blogspot look better.

Nope, it's not one book per major character. They're the center of Book 1, and another central character (female) takes the stage in Book 2.


Anonymous said...

Just finished your lovely "Unmasking" straight from Breath and Bone. Entirely satisfying. You are a breath of fresh air continually and I love being surprised as I travel with your characters in your worlds. Please keep creating grown-up, complex-but-concise traditional fantasy with none-too-tidy endings.
Speaking of which, since Disney erotica and romantic ghost tales are not my cup of tea, I did not enjoy any of the other three adolescent-level stories in Elemental Magic. I left two unread since the conclusions were obvious and the stories amateurish. I had a feeling this would be the case when you described them as "different." I hope your works are never published together with such drivel again. You are too good.
I can't wait to follow the progress of this new work on this blog. Sorry if I flamed a bit, but I'm all about truth and I confess to relishing the opportunity to act the acerbic critic.

carolwriter said...

Re: Elemental Magic

Would I do it again? Yes. Would I wish for a more harmonious blend of stories? Yes.

Glad you enjoyed Breath and Bone and Unmasking.


Anonymous said...

I would adore a whole volume of short stories by Carol Berg. What a treat that would be! I actually despise the romance genre in general. How about action-packed psychological thriller/traditional fantasy/non-traditional romance...I think that better describes most of your novels.

BTW, the best erotica is comedy, not fantasy...more real, according to my sensibilities. And fantasy cover art in general needs to be less GQ and more ruggedly approachable, but that's just so I won't be embarrassed reading them in public at my age. I ask too much and I know these things are difficult to accomplish, but one can hope. Please consider writing a short story or three between novels, as the muse allows...

Anna said...

I really like the idea of being along for the ride--so to speak--as this book develops and to see *how* it gets from your brain to the paper :)