A look inside my writing process

After months of mostly ignoring my writing muse (technically that's Cyn, but he kind of shares that duty with the rest), I've finally had a chance to really start working on my next big story and boy do I have grand ideas for this one! And timelines. Oh goodness, do I have timelines. This post is going to be a sneak peek of what exactly goes on in my writing notebook while I'm in the "planning" stage of a story.

First up is timelines. Lots of timelines. I think I spent two hours with a calculator just trying to fill in this much and if you know me, you know math is my nemesis. You can click if you want to see the pictures bigger.

Here's a closeup of that top line:

Eventually the big/world events will go on the bottom, personal ones on that top line, mixture in the middle.

Also notes. Pages and pages of notes. In the case of this story, designing and refining five priesthoods and/or deities, as well as the normal plot and character development:

In this picture you can see me organizing Hermes' priesthood above ideas for this story, starting to develop Tavin (everyone, say "hi" to one of the new guys!), and designing from scratch the priesthood of Eros.

And then there are maps... which I haven't perfected enough to share yet. So trust me on this one, I guess!

You may be looking at the notes going "Who the heck are these characters?". It's probably best not to ask, but assuming anyone is reading this and got this far, here's a peek at the four newbies who get to share the spotlight with Raff in this one:
~From far, far north on the northern continent, I'm bringing in Piper, avian priestess of Gale (god of the winds and sailors), who has spent the past few years protecting ships traveling from island to island and coast to coast.
~The next furthest traveler is Seph, a blind priest from an island nation to the north-east; he's the other of the old (Greek-themed) pantheon, being a follower of Eros. He's not as blind as one might think, though; despite that blindfold he wears to cover his odd eyes, he sees what's really there...
~Unsure of where he came from originally, being a foundling raised by a human hermit, the silent one of this group is Tavin, a half-orc. He's not a priest, per se, but that hermit did teach him the ways of the shaman- unfortunately what he didn't learn was how to really interact with people.
~Tying everyone together is Clover, halfling prophetess from the south. Not a gypsy, I swear. All those bells and coins are her magic symbols (or so she says...) and that isn't a Deck of Many Things that she carries- that's her tarot deck, allowing her to see what the future may bring. (When it works.)

I'm thinking I may write something short to move Seph over to where he needs to be, so likely the next writing I post will be only about him- and one of my Messengers who doesn't have her own story yet. If I can get him where he needs to go, this'll be my next story update. :)




  1. Wow Meri! I'm in awe of thought you put in your writing.

    I'm intrigued, though I'm highly picky about my fantasy novels. I like to see real conflicts of our world in a fantasy setting. Gives different perspective.

    Interested to know, what do want your reader to get out of your story? ...or do we have to wait to find out? ;p (Any hints xD)

  2. lol! I have muses that won't leave me alone, I suppose. Unfortunately I got so busy with moving over the past two months that my writing got put on the backburner, but this week I've been planning it out again. My characters got sick of me ignoring them and all ganged up on me at once; nothing like two elves, a halfling, an orc and several human spellcasters demanding attention at once. XD

    Hmm... I don't really work that way. I mean, I don't take something from this world and turn it into something fantasy, or at least not intentionally. Like for "The Acolyte's Map", the general idea for the story came from one of my customers who mentioned her mail going mysteriously missing and then me running with the idea of a mail carrier hording mail. "Hidden Magic" came from my D&D game; I had to come up with an origin for one of the magical artifacts I'd thrown at the characters and explain why the "evil" mage knew Meren.

    I haven't come up with any detailed plot ideas for the next one, but I know that this is going to be a sort of origin story itself; it's going to take place prior to "The Acolyte's Map" so I get to come up with a backstory as to why Raff is prone to fits of violence. For the bigger picture, though, I'm working with the world itself; I'm pulling priesthoods from around that globe because I'm trying to sort out what exactly has been going on with the gods.

    Rambling, but I'm not really sure how to answer that...


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