Now that the holiday ruckus is finally over, I've decided to dust off a partly written fantasy novel and make a more serious attempt at it.
It's set in another world, with its own government, history, etc. I've got most of the salient details about the world's background in my notes, but I need to organize them better.
What I'm wondering is this: What's the best way to put together a concordance for something like this? I know many of us here have stories set in other worlds, with entire mythologies fleshed out. I plan to print out the entire background once I have it finished. I have a pretty good idea of how it should look, but I'd appreciate any tips.
December 29th, 2002, 10:33 AM
Governments> Detail > Specific Detail >
Enviroments> Detail > Specific Detail >
Characters > Who > Where > When > How > Specifics
Plot > Detail > Specific Detail
Plots within Plot > Detail > Specific Detail>
Plots within Plots within Plots > Specifics
Times things happen within book > who what when how where
Use notcards, or separate files for each category, then with times until you have the entire idea set then bring it all together.
I wouldnt have the entire thing on one page or many pages, have it spread out everywhere in order. That might make it flow more easily.
December 30th, 2002, 06:24 PM
Thanks, Shiva. I've copied your outline to my clipboard, and can use it as a starting point. Now all I have to do is find the time.
December 30th, 2002, 11:56 PM
Don't know if this story is true, but the principle is terrific. It's said that Stephen King plots on a wall that's been covered with butcher paper. Using various colored inks--each for a character or plot thread--he gets the whole story down and then "writes" off the paper. If you've got a wall on the backside of your monitor (and good enough eyesight!), you can pin up an outline like his and write from it.
Before anyone jumps in on this, it's true that not everyone can write this way. Some of us have to follow the story line as we "see" it. A friend once explained it as watching your book unfold and just jotting it down so that others could read it too. Of course, this kind of writing takes quite a bit of rewriting since you have to proof for consistency very carefully.
December 31st, 2002, 04:19 AM
Yup - headings on the PC in special files. IT's easy to open up a specific research file while the story file is also opened - ie, two sets of word opened on the same PC. Keep them in the same folder, though - preferably one exclusively for the story in question.
January 1st, 2003, 10:05 AM
The only writing program I've got installed (apart from the plain old MS word processor) is this neat little thing called Writer's Blocks, which essentially is an outlining program. It works fine with story lines--complete with little "index cards" you can move around. I've considered also using it to piece my concordance together, at least for starters.
On the other hand, if I get too carried away with the backstory, it might be another ten years before I write the novel itself. So I'd best discipline myself.
I appreciate everyone's input.
January 2nd, 2003, 04:46 AM
I just have two files in each story's folder eg. Torment, Torment ideas. And sometimes a research file if I did major research.
I categorise my ideas as novels, short stories, novellas and novelettes.