This is the tenth in a series of posts about the redrafting process of THE LONG ROAD which will be composed and published as I rewrite the book. The other posts in this series are here.
To recap, my goal from last week was:
By this time next week I should have a bunch more character outlines in the can. And maybe this weekend – barring a terrible toddler flu resurgence – I will get a chance to draw some maps.
What actually happened:
Pretty much exactly what I set out to do! I made much progress on character bios:
I’m over halfway done, and the character bios continue to be useful. I am making an effort to keep my eyes on the prize, but I am getting carried away. A lot of these characters reappear, and have lives before and after this story, and I am writing those into the character bios, too, even if that information isn’t immediately useful.
BUT the big thing this week was maps! Maps everywhere! Or, more precisely, one map annotated a bunch of different ways!
So what I’ve done here is I drew and painted a watercolor map of southern Aerdh over the weekend, which I then scanned at work (because work has a readily available scanner and my scanner at home is unreliable to say the least) and popped into powerpoint. The map I painted was bare so that I had maximum flexibility to mess around with borders, character routes, etc, digitally. Which means that I have several different types of maps of the same region: the basic outlines of countries at one point, after the war, important war landmarks, etc.
As for the mechanics, they are as follows:
I used the scribble feature under shapes to mark out the boundaries. Once I had them set, I selected all of them at once and grouped them so they were easier to manage. And then I duplicated slides with the boundaries in place to do the different kinds of maps. Voila!
For completion’s sake, I stuck one of the basic maps in the Aerdh Bible for reference:
Note to self: Stick the timeline in here, too, while you’re at it, champ.
The other thing that happened this week is that I’ve begun to revisit The Prince of Norsa. I had a lovely beta reader express interest, but it was written in word and getting the manuscript in a neat and tidy format in Scrivener is a bit of a chore. So, while I whip it into readable shape (getting it into a clean .mobi file), I’ve been poking at the text.
Now, one might say this is a distraction, but that person would be wrong. You see The Prince of Norsa intersects with The Long Road in some very meaningful ways. Characters wander from one book to the other. Actions in The Prince of Norsa have a direct effect on the state of things in The Long Road, and vice versa. Given the fact that I finished the first draft of The Prince of Norsa back in October, which has given me some eight months away from it, and given that the books are so intimately linked, I would say it is, in fact, not a distraction at all to work on them in tandem.
So, next week. Well, timelines are done. Maps are done. I suppose I should just finish out these last character bios and use this space next week to sketch out some next steps.