Timelines and organisation

06/07/2014 18:32

I’ve reached the point in the Green Sky series – with three books complete, two in progress and two planned – that I am having to organise myself. At the moment, I’ve got two things on the list: a timeline and a character sheet.

Timeline:

My tendency to take characters from previous books and re-use them has now unfortunately spiralled to the point where I need to know what they’re all doing! So I’ve created a spreadsheet (which does go down a lot further than the image below shows)…

It’s based on a linear timeline and done by character as they seem to be what I need, as opposed to, for example, doing it by book. I think doing the timelines by book would be even more difficult considering that Salt Winds cuts through an awful lot of the others – Obak misses the war from Books 2&3 completely – and also that a lot of the characters do overlap. A linear timeline also means I can check what time of year things are happening, and what else is happening in the world: I might add a general political events column at some point if I do end up needing it, and possibly also a Fliyer/spark development one for use after Heights & Horizons, but I will see how much I can keep in my head first.

The timeline has helped already with which characters I can bring into Heights & Horizons, and who I want for Desert Sands – Oro and Jerlyn are pilots who come into Books 2&3, so I can use them; however, I’ve also got notes on which characters aren’t available (for example, Yeo and Anoe aren’t at the time of Heights & Horizons). It’s also caused a major change – Empty Skies has shifted from being the fourth book in the series to the sixth! It was originally placed straight after the end of High Flight (so the end of the orange section), but the end of Salt Winds was beginning to encroach quite badly on the end of Empty Skies, and so it makes it easier on all the characters to shift it until after Desert Sands. 

Character Lists:

This is something else that I admit I am possibly A Bad Writer for not doing sooner! In Green Sky, all my characters were in my head, and they’re all relatively simple. However, with the introduction of extra characters in Grey Stone & High Flight, plus the need to know what rank and element all the Mages are, meant that I lost track of people. Ctrl+F gets boring when you have three books to go through to find what damn rank that Yeo is (3rd Fire), and so I wrote myself a paper list.

However…I think this now needs to be expanded! With the additional characters in Heights & Horizons and the amount that are going to be re-introduced in Desert Sands (Jan, Lusa, Anoe, Alenna), I need a wider sheet with names, ranks and information. So that’s my task for the evening.

 

I’m not usually a very organised writer: most of the stuff is in my head. But recently, I’ve been plotting Desert Sands and Heights & Horizons, and I’ve just created Organised Stuff – I think I’m being forced to change my habits as I get more serious…

Blog Hop: Jamie Rowell – work in progress

23/06/2014 22:07

Jamie Rowell is a member of the Swindon Freewriters, and a writer of fiction and fantasy. One of his current works in progress is a novel of magic and drama, titled Silverlight. He doesn’t currently have his own blog but I’ve read the first few chapters of Silverlight and it’s awesome, so he’s agreed to give some more information on what it’s about…

 

1. What is the name of your main character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

Her name is Jasmine Knight, but she prefers Jazz. She’s also fictional.

2. When and where is the story set?

The story is set in modern times and is an urban fantasy setting, and as for the story, it’s a fairly global story, with parts in England, Russia, China, South Africa and North America. So, fairly localised and contained, as you can imagine!

3. What should we know about him/her?

She’s a bit hotheaded and antagonistic, has a sly sense of humour, and is extremely sarcastic. On the flip side, she does care about her friends a lot, and isn’t too horrible to them.

4. What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?

The main conflict for Jazz during the course of Silverlight is that she’s lost her memory due to various events, and that she’s also a necromancer, which she can’t remember anything about. Necromancers in the Silverlight universe are feared, as most of them have done horrible things and started wars in the past, so whenever a new one comes up, every wizard tends to try and crack down on them.

As of the start of the story, there’s only two necromancers on the planet, Jazz and a guy named Ramirez, and Jazz wakes up in a burning building with very few memories. As a result, she tries to get her memory back by visiting her old university, only to find everyone massively suspicious of her and not really able to help her, and it’s just great fun to slowly torture her mentally by having her constantly wonder, “Did I do horrible things too? How bad was I as a necromancer?”, all whilst everyone is booing and jeering from the sidelines and trying to kill her off as well at times.

5. What is the personal goal of the character?

Her main goal is to recover her memory and discover just why she woke up in a burning building that had collapsed around her. She’s trying to piece her life back together, because whilst she can do magic of some kinds on instinct, she’s still struggling to remember what made her unique.

6. Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?

It’s called Silverlight, and I can occasionally chuck out the first few chapters for someone to read if they want to.

7. When can we expect the book to be published?

Whenever I finish the damn thing and send it off to a publisher!

 

There you go: it’s a book I’m definitely keeping an eye on! If you want more information on SIlverlight, let me know, and you can find more information on the Swindon Freewriters on their website.