The day is here! Tonight at midnight I begin writing chapter one of SCALE HUNTER. When I started this blog series, I wasn’t sure I’d really write the book I outlined. It was more of a thought exercise and a way to share my knowledge. I thought by showing what worked for me, I could help other people figure out what worked for them.
But I’m really impressed with what I came up with! I had no idea the book would grow on me this much. I’m intrigued by the world I’m imagining, I already love Victory and Trina, and I want to see them build an alliance between dragons and humans.
In the last blog, I designed a fairly solid outline. There are a few leftover pieces I want to look at before I start writing, though.
I spent a lot of time on the outlining detailing Victory, but I didn’t go into detail about Trina. She’s going to be just as important a character, because she’ll give a sympathetic wizard position in the novel. Also, her relationship with Victory is going to grow over the course of the book, so I should know who she is.
Victory is driven by ideals of heroism, committed to her family, and has a deep faith in her dragon hunter god. I like the idea of making Trina share similar values, but also have differences that cause the women to clash. One idea I had in the writing was making the town mayor Trina’s father. I think that has a lot of potential, because it can introduce a real struggle into the mayor’s motivations, rather than making him a one-dimensional villain. Family is important to Trina too, but maybe she wants to bring pride to her family name rather than materially support them, like Victory. (Could her father have been a failed wizard?)
I might work on a faith-based difference between the women; it could be touching to see them learn about and appreciate each other’s beliefs. Trina might be more pragmatic than Victory, believing less in ideals of heroism and more in the hard realities of life. I don’t want to make her cynical, though. I’ll have to explore that dynamic a bit more.
One big hole in the book is why does Victory try to communicate with Flamerazer, and why does Flamerazer reciprocate?
My first thought was that Flamerazer had some obvious element of his (I don’t want to say humanity) of his sentience that Victory realizes is at odds with what she’s always been taught about dragons. Or something that makes him super vulnerable, like baby dragons (or eggs). I don’t feel like that’s quite the right tack, but I’m not sure what is.
And that’s one truth about outlining for me—sometimes I don’t know everything when I start! Much as I’d like to have a clear picture of the whole book at the beginning, sometimes I have to write a little and explore the world and the characters before I can figure the plot out.
For now, I’m going to put a pin in this and come back to it once I’m a few chapters in. I have a feeling whatever I come up with will make up the last subplot I need to get the book to a proper length.
I like designing fake cover art for my books when I start writing. It makes them feel ‘real.’ I’m still not sold on the title, but I think SCALE HUNTER is ready to get started.
That’s it! Thanks for reading along with me, and I hope this helped you plan your own work. Feel free to friend me on the NaNoWriMo site, and good luck with your writing!