Inspiration for King Rolen's Kin, my new fantasy series.
Havock 21 asked about the writing process. I'm a real control freak, I must be the exact opposite of Trent!
I've just delivered King Rolen's Kin books 1,2, & 3 to my agent. If you could see me now, I'd be doing the Happy Dance.
This has been a long time coming. Back in 1998 I wrote a fantasy novella. Not much call for novellas of 90 pages, so I put it aside. Came back to it in 2002 and it grew into a book. That one book grew into three books and the first 3 chapters were what I submitted to my agent, John Jarrold, when I approached him to see if he would take me on, in 2005. (Only book one was polished, the rest was about 600 pages of story arc).
Unlike Trent, who writes a bit here and a bit there. I sit down and write from beginning to end. If I jam up, it is because something isn't working earlier on and I go back to the beginning and do a rewrite. By then I know the world and the characters so much better, so I do what I call 'layering'. I add layers of characterisation and back story with each rewrite.
But it gets very complex with over 1700 pages of story. So I keep scene notes for each chapter as I write. That way if I decide a character had to have a certain prop with him 7 days ago before he was kidnapped, I can make sure he had it on him, without wandering around pages of manuscript trying to find the exact scene.
I also keep a 'terminology' file. Like all fantasy writers, I create my world and people it with societies, inventing words along the way. I have to remember how to spell those words and what they mean. So I need a terminology file.
Then because I have multiple points of view and the narrative takes place over so many days/weeks during the course story I keep a 'timeline' file so I know how many days have passed and where each person is at a particular time and how old they were when things happened in the backstory, (only important things that affect them now).
I also keep a file of images that have inspired me. For King Rolen's Kin I did some research into Russia. Thirty years ago there was a National Geographic cover of a Russian peasant boy. I can still see it clearly in my mind's eye. I needed a look for the people, and a look for the way they built their homes and strongholds. I wanted it to be a little different from your average medieval fantasy. So King Rolen's stronghold has towers and domes. Inside it is ornately decorated like St Petersburg.
When I'm writing the world I create seems more real to me that the world where politicians wrangle over Utegate.
Was that the kind of writing process you were wondering about, Havock21?
The ROR group was started in 2001 by Marianne and Rowena.
We meet every year or so to critique our manuscripts. We are united by a passion for the speculative fiction genre and the craft of writing. (And sharing good food and wine doesn't go amiss, either). www.ripping-ozzie-reads.com