I have some exciting news! Today I finished laying out the general plot of my new novel, Chronicles of the Sentinels! (I’ve decided to drop the first “The” in the title after some feedback. Thanks Victoria!)
I am pleasantly surprised at how fast I’ve developed this story! I actually only started writing down the plot on 8 June and only a few days later am already finished. I started working on the actual idea on 11 June. I’ve never developed a novel this fast, but it is so much fun!
For those who aren’t familiar with my pre-writing process, you can check out details by clicking here, but essentially I now only have one step left until I can start actually writing the story, and that’s writing out the chapter outlines. This will most likely take longer, as I will write down in greater detail what I want to happen in the story.
In The Beginning – Who’s on First?
In my past novels, I’ve always written the very first chapter from the perspective of the primary protagonist. In the case of The Sword of Dragons, this has been Cardin Kataar. However in Chronicles, I’m actually tempted to do something different.
Unlike The Sword of Dragons, I’m not planning to include a prologue in Chronicles, or at least not for the first novel. In my mind, a prologue wouldn’t fit with the tone I’m going for in this novel, plus I really like the idea of the reader making discoveries along with the characters.
However, once I finished the plot progression, I realized that starting the novel out from the leader of the Sentinels chasing after Nabu would be beneficial, since it would set up the events to come shortly after, as well as events towards the end of the novel.
So I’m actually wondering if anyone who reads my blog knows of examples where a novel didn’t start out from the protagonist’s PoV? Would you consider them “successful” novels? Did it cause you confusion as to who the main character of the story was?
One thing I know I’ve mentioned is the past is that a writer shouldn’t be afraid to change things during the development of a story. If it isn’t published yet, it isn’t ‘canon’. Having said that, I’ve considered changing some things up. Most of them deal with minor characters.
The one thing I am strongly considering, however, is Alycia’s comfort level with her ‘nerdy’ nature. I originally had written down in my notebook that I wanted her to be very comfortable with her nerdiness, but later on I wrote that she was uncomfortable with it and would, over time, learn to be okay with it.
However, as I re-read the first few pages in my journal today and saw my original idea for her, I realized why I wanted her to be comfortable with her nerdiness from the beginning.
Even in today’s society, where ‘nerds rule the world’ ;) I still have known nerds and geeks to struggle with self-esteem and self-worth (I certainly did for a long time.) Yet I would argue that they are among the best kinds of people, the most interesting, the most intelligent, the most kind-hearted (most of the time, let’s not talk about Sheldon ;) ). I believe that anyone who is a nerd or geek has every reason to be proud to be so.
So if one of the primary characters of the novel were to be a nerd, and proud to be so, I would hope it would send that message to readers. It’s not only okay to be a nerd or a geek, it is completely awesome!!
To my fellow writers, I add in this reminder about your work: whether your stories are read by a handful of people or millions, you’ll be presenting role models to your audience. Its been my experience that those who frequently read often connect to one character or another on a very personal level.
So keep that in mind when you write a character. No one is perfect, and frankly we like reading about flawed characters over flawless ones. But be conscious about how your work will affect your readers beyond the book, especially young adult or children audiences. Inspire them!
Thanks for reading :)