Tag Archives: Save the Cat

Brainstorming new Pendragon novel, more cover art, and progress on time travel

I’ve been quite busy this week. Not only am I still working on revisions on Chameleon in a Mirror, my Restoration time travel starring Aphra Behn, I have also started brainstorming a new novel in the Pendragon Chronicles, tentatively entitled A Wasted Land. I want to share with you the artwork I splurged and bought for the novel, by the incredibly talented Teresa Yeh:

A Wasted Land

Of course, researching, brainstorming and outlining is difficult to quantify, especially if you’re doing it on scrap paper, like I am. (I’ve never become a convert to index cards, as many people are.) But I do have about twenty pages of hand-written notes, questions I’ve asked myself using various plotting strategies. The one that has given me the most success for A Wasted Land so far has been Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat. With other projects, however, other structures and strategies have proved more successful. Sometimes it’s the hero’s journey, sometimes it’s character questions, sometimes it’s the research itself that will give me the plot. My strategy is to throw lots and lots of stuff at my idea and see what will stick.

Anyway, I now have a basic structure consisting of both an internal conflict plot and an external conflict plot. I’m certainly not ready to write yet, though (although I have started jotting down notes for scenes that occurred to me). But I still have to throw a bit more at it until I have a better handle on both the plot and the characters.

That’s taken up a lot of my time this week, but I’ve also been moving forward with Chameleon in a Mirror. I’m up to chapter 23 on the revisions. At this pace, I should be able to finish by the end of the week. I’ve become a total slacker on my actual publication projects, however. I have this list of things that are ready or almost ready to go up on Amazon, Smashwords and Draft2Digital — and I did none of them this week. I think next week I need to take another day off from writing for the business side of things.

Just out of curiosity, what kind of pre-writing do other people do — if at all?