Wednesday, 19 February 2014

My First Novel - first draft of "the magical mishap"

Ok -  time for the writing to begin in earnest. So far I have been writing notes about the characters and locations; and writing possible outlines for the first three chapters. I posted some screenshots from the yWriter5 software that I am using. Here is how it looks after this very first draft of the first real writing I have done.

Note: chapter 1 has 430 words so far, from the scene I have named (for convenience only), The Storm. The software keeps track of word count for each individual scene, and total for each chapter and the whole novel. There are many other reporting function but I won't mention them here, yet. BTW in the list of scenes N denotes scene notes have been included in the description.

Now my major issue so far is the point of view (POV) or viewpoint from which you are writing. I am not yet totally certain how far a scene should be broken down. For example, There are three main characters in this scene, although one only appears as a result of the accident, and no one else knows about him. Should I write from the point of view of one of the characters OR should I break the scene down further and tell the story of each of the lower levels of the outline from the main character in that level.

Let me try to make that clearer:

From above, the draft outline is as follows:-

  • chapter
    • scene  - The Room of Magic
    • scene - A Call to Arms
    • scene - The Storm
    • scene - Fear escapes and hides
Now read my first draft of The Storm :-

At the mustering parade, Eadwyne was reviewing his troops from a metal podium and things were going well. He was thinking that his Liege would be pleased with how quickly he had raised such a fine force. Perhaps it could have contained more men but many had to be left behind to tend the farms or because there was not enough time for the training which would have been necessary. Dinbar had appeared with enthusiasm claiming he had a spell which would ensure the safe return of the army from the fighting, he was going to take the opportunity this parade offered to bless  the assembled troops.

During the casting of the spell, a storm blew up suddenly but no one really noticed amid all the pomp and finery. That is until a lightning bolt flashed into the parade ground and landed near to the dias. There was an explosion of great ferocity which threw Eadwyne into the marching throng. Who in their turn were dazed and deafened by the explosion. Helping hands flew to Eadwyne but were luckily not needed as he had suffered no real hurt. But too many people were trying to pick him up and dust him down and assess him for broken bones.

Against the castle wall, away from all the action stood a lone figure who had a vague similarity to Eadwyne but his features were horribly deformed, as if by the way he was showing hate and fear at the same time. He backed away from the centre of attention and slipped unnoticed through a doorway, into the castle.This hideous figure, seemed afraid of being seen and stayed in the shadows making his way to a hiding place; wanting to stay away from prying eyes. He seemed to know that he simply had to prevent himself from being discovered.

Outside in the sunlight, the storm had disappeared as quickly as it had arisen, order was being restored. The blessing was forgotten and preparations went ahead for the journey through the Kan Pass, to join the main army of King Taienge as it marched to the Western Isles. Transport consisted of horses and wagons for the lucky few; the rest would march. Provisions for wagons for the journey through the Pass, was not a priority as it was very difficult terrain and impossible to make by wheeled transport. The troops made their way to the main door off the parade ground and assembled outside ready for the journey. Finally all were in position and Eadwyne gave the orders for the march to begin.

And my quandry?

Should I extend each of those paragraphs (I have no doubt that that will happen anyway) and write them in a different way to be more from the POV of the main character in that para. It is a crucial part of the story so I need to make it an important and memorable scene (or series of scenes). Should the outline be continued in this fashion:

  • Scene/L1 - The storm
    • scene/L2 - the parade/blessing POV Dinbar, the magician
    • scene /L2 - the storm POV Eadwyne
    • scene /L2 - FEAR hides POV FEAR, the evil twin
    • scene /L2 - Aftermath and departure POV Eadwyne
    • scene /L2 - thoughts of Dinbar as the army disappears into the distance POV Dinbar

As I write this, I believe the real issue for me is the terminology!  Perhaps I am not yet sure what a scene actually means. A location or a character? Thinking of a play, the scene can change as actors come to and go from the same location. That seems to be the answer. I have read that getting the POV right can be crucial and depends on what the writer is trying to achieve. I must do a little more reading/research on this issue.

Thanks for bearing with me and it does seem to help having someone to chat to (as it were), more soon.

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