Today is my first day of actual story brainstorming (a combination of plotting, doodling, and talking to myself) on The Emerald Sun.
(Reading and noting is done with the books and sticky notes. Brainstorming requires your butt in the chair and your fingers on the keyboard with a sketchpad on the desk in front of you — at least if you’re me.)
Because, as I frequently did during my commercial career, I planned the series to run long — in this case, seven books — and because I have to finish the series now with Book 3, I find myself once again rethinking where I wanted to go with the story, and digging through the core principles of what I’d already built, and how these worked.
I’m going through the characters…
- The Cat
- The Dragon
- Genna, Danrith, and their humanoid allies
- The Audiomaerist, a woman who listens to what the roads tell her
And the settings…
- The abandoned ruins of a different civilization
- The forests that grow so quickly they can outrun fleeing humans
- The paths along the Moonroads, and what lives there
And the conflict…
- The single act from the past that is still destroying the present
And the question…
- How can some kids, a Cat, and a dragon save a dying world adults have lost the will to save?
I’m trying to find my way through.
I have the ending I’m NOT going to write (what I call “the ending to beat”).
I have my Octopus Map, which sets out the obstacles in my path.
Now it’s a case of plotting out a path to follow (or again in my case, to beat as I go).