When I started posting 90 Days to My Novel, I intended on writing something helpful. However, I haven’t really done that. Valuable content takes time to write. At least, it takes me time and my writing time has been spent developing my novel. I’ve finally arrived at the writing part of my ninety days so I thought I would share what I worked on in the past thirty-five (more than that but let’s pretend).
Character Bio Sheets on Excel (cause I think that way)
- For each main character, I have filled out the following information: name; age; occupation; family members or significant others; personality traits; character history (where is s/he from); highest level of education; physical traits; biggest motivator; biggest fear; things s/he likes; things s/he dislikes; Where does s/he live?; What kind of music does s/he listen to?; What does s/he like about herself?; What does s/he dislike about herself?; What is her/his favorite childhood memory?; What is her/his most traumatic life event?; What is her/his most prized possession?; What kind of transportation does s/he use?; What is her/his favourite food?; What is the most interesting thing about this character?; What does this character’s voice sound like?; If limited to five words, which ones would most people who know this character use to describe her/him?
- For each minor character, I have only name; age; occupation; brief physical description; brief history; relationship to main character(s); purpose in the scene; What does s/he reveal about the main character?
I have answered the following questions about my four major players regarding
- Motives: What does this character want most in the world? What obstacles, events, or people will stand in the way of getting what s/he wants?
- Setting: Where does this character live? What is her/his favourite place?
- Emotions: How each main character deals physically, verbally and internally with conflict by writing some tentative scenes.
- Point of View: By writing some short scenes, I’ve tested various points of views. I’ve definitely settled on a third person narrator and will probably use the four main characters to tell the story (Three have a clear voice, the fourth I’m not so sure of yet).
- Narrative Arc: All conflicts have been written down, culminating to plot points, and divided in to Acts.
- Outline: Each scene (on Excel, of course!) has been numbered, the setting chosen, the characters identified, the summary written, the point of the scene described, its relation to the previous scene and the overall story noted, and the scene protagonist’s potential gain or loss and the conflict spelled out.