There And Draft Again

A Fellowship of Fantasy Writers

Why This Pantser Loves Story Boarding May 18, 2014

Filed under: Writing — thereanddraftagain @ 12:20 am
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You’d think that, with all this talk of story bibles (or, as I like to call it, encyclobibliogrimoires) and such, that I would be more of a plotter than a pantser. But I’m really not. I try to plot, I really do. It just never works out for me. My characters start doing their own thing and I go with it, and my plans go out the window.

So how is it that I can love story boarding so much if I never go by my plans for my novels? Simple. I story board after I write. It’s a great way to keep up with a timeline and to mark important story points and world building areas. I tend to do this as I go in Scrivener, but having a physical story board really helps me creatively.

I’ve been reminded of why this is as I create a story board for my upcoming book Altar of Reality by Curiosity Quills Press. I just sent my first round edits back to my editor (yay!), finished pre-editor edits on Heirs of War, Crown of Flames, and am happily free to write. I’ve decided to write the sequel to Altar of Reality (tentatively the SHIFT series). But now that I’m free, the ideas just weren’t flowing. So what do I do?

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I go back to the drawing board. Literally. Nothing gets me more jazzed about my story than looking at it from a cat’s eye view. It’s way too easy to get bogged down in the details when you are editing. And sometimes rereading it can be even worse. By the time you are at the point to write a sequel, you’ve edited that first sucker into the ground. You’re tired of looking at it. But story boarding allows you to look at the individual parts and how they stack up as a whole. You’re reevaluating the characters and the journeys they go through, which can help you figure out where they are going next. And it can be just the kickstart you need to whoop your writers’ block and get your muses agreeing with you again.

What are your thoughts on story boarding? Are you one with the digital age and aids available like Scrivener, or do you prefer the old school method?

❤ Mara Valderran

 

My love affair with Legend June 15, 2013

Filed under: Inspiration,Writing — thereanddraftagain @ 7:34 am
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When the movie, Legend, came out, I was thirteen years old. It had everything my young teenage heart could wish for: love, magic, unicorns, and a battle between good and evil. Also, a handsome, peasant hero in love with a princess, a villain with horns and cloven feet, elves, faeries, pixies, goblins, and of course, a flesh-eating witch.

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Now, as a woman and writer of fantasy, the movie still captivates me, despite the negative reviews by the critics.

The plot is simple: the hero must defeat the villain to save the world from eternal darkness. The theme is more complex: neither light, nor dark, can truly destroy the other, for they’re dependent on one another. The characters each have his or her own role to perform that supports the branching elements of the plot.

I’ve used Legend as a template for storyboarding. Often my plot overwhelms me and I need to narrow it down to its most basic before branching out or creating sub-plots. I want to make sure my theme carries through from beginning to end, and choose the best elements to represent or symbolize this theme. Character development is the most important to me. Are each of my characters necessary? Do they have a purpose? Do they create conflict, aid my MC, have hardships of their own? Do they grow at all? Do they inspire me?

I won’t bore you with every facet of Legend I adore, but I will ask you: What movie/book do you watch/read over and over again and never tire of? Why? Is it the mythology, the world-building, the time-period? Once you know the answers, you’ll know what story to write. And more importantly, you’ll love it.

My love affair with Legend has lasted twenty-seven years. I want the same with my stories.

Happy writing!

Kate