Creating a Novel Series Story out of many other ones...

by Steven Dorsey
(US)

Question: I have this story I want to create one day, that's a christian super natural story. It takes place in multiple settings, times, and many different stories altogether. In each of these stories, a different main character is thrust into different situations of diverse genres in cases where 2 or more characters, who will be constant and recurring in the grand scheme of things, battle it out in different ways to destroy/save the lives of the people involved. A few towns will be made up, and ultimately, one of the last stories will be the background of the supposed Antagonist and how he came to be this supernatural dark entity, and what happened to make him this way. These events then eventually giving way to a final chapter/book or story that deals with the final collision between the older protagonist, and the Antagonist. All of this is in my head, and when I think about it or listen to trailer music to allow myself to imagine the different stories and the, by now well-developed, themes I've come up with for many different characters I've come up with; I get fairly excited and want to be able to write it down. There is a problem with the fact that the 3 or so genres I want to write in will require historical, cultural, economic, and social research of many kinds therein and, while this site has been useful in allowing me to be reaussured and put on the path of some way to one day organize and plan, by realizing that that is often a core practice for aspiring writers. I am a visual person, even my thoughts and such are often portrayed in images and sounds, and its quite amusing to see me having a one-sided muttering conversation in response to things I think while walking down the hallway. I feel I need some form of table template or something, if you are willing and able, that I can go off of, for a good and dynamic way to structurally organize the plot and characters I want to create, and possibly be able to tie in research and such as well. Anything you can provide as advice is appreciated. :) I've never actually outlined in a set template for the creation of stories and such, so to do such, would be to ask me to create something in woodworking, that I myself do not actually know what it looks like in the first place, hence the bind I find myself in.


Answer: If you are a visual thinker, there are several ways of organizing your thoughts you might try.

The simplest is to create a timeline on a large surface (such as a wall, whiteboard, table, etc.). Create scene cards (3x5" index cards, each with a brief description of an event in the story) and arrange these along the timeline.

You can have parallel lines to map out things like of subplots, themes, character arcs, or other elements that crop up repeatedly. You can also add photographs or drawings of locations, bits of research, background material, or other elements.

Of course, the danger is that you can get so involved in this mapping that you don't get around to writing. So once you reach the point where you feel empowered and excited enough to write a scene or episode, write it. Then move on to the next episode. You don't have to write them in order. Start with the ones that are most clear in your mind.

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Mar 24, 2013
I don't have physical room specifically...
by: Steven Dorsey

But I believe that I MIGHT have a copy of Microsoft Access, which might be of some use. Until now I just made Microsoft Documents with descriptions of story ideas and a few things here and there, and in theory, I could use Access to create tables with the first one being a ordered list of the mini-stories listed chronologically, then another one for each story that sorta organizes that way I guess. I'll play around with doing something similar to what you say though. :) Thanks for assuring me I might not look like a madman, with a board full of newspaper clippings and such with multi-colored strings going all directions like in the movies. :D

Mar 25, 2013
Response
by: Glen

Another option is to use Scrivener, which has features that let you organize your research. That's if you like it in computer form. The downside I find is that screens are never big enough to have all the elements displayed at the same time.

Mar 25, 2013
Steven Dorsey
by: Anonymous

I'll check that out thanks. :)

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