Tuesday, October 14, 2008

More on maps and a tinkly chill

Laini asked me about my story maps, and I thought I would post the answer rather than hide it in a comment, in case someone finds it helpful.

My story maps, let's see. I make two kinds. One is a 'regular' map with all the settings. I draw lines with arrows to mark the movement of my protagonist (I stick to a fairly severe third person point of view, and don't take descriptions of the past and memories into account here). I also jot down the numbers of the chapters next to the spot they take place in. For instance, chapter eight takes place mostly in a little café called the Waffle Heart, so that location is marked by the number eight.

The other 'map' is a list of the chapters, where I write down the general area (Yulevale) and then the specific settings (the Waffle Heart), and the general mood (cosy and christmassy, with only small glimpses of danger ahead) and what sort of pace I've chosen (a breather, with plot details surfacing through other characters). Though I try to let the story flow naturally, this list helps me see when I've been sneaking around for too long and a measure of safety and comfort is required, or if a little adrenaline is overdue.

My current maps shows that we will spend about the same amount of time in the woods as we do in town. I suppose it makes for a darker, colder, more star strewn and tinkly Christmas, which is what I'm looking for. My story is, after all, about an abandoned child whose soul is made entirely of ice.

Pic by Line.


Li:ne said...

Dark, cold, star strewn woods... that reminds me of the Astrid Lindgren christmas story I read you every year, Tone.

Where Lisabeth is lost and I always end up crying. If I make it to the last paragraph without having trouble reading, I'm lucky. That last paragraph... forget about it.

After all, two little girls are better than one.

tone almhjell said...

Infinitely better than one, my sweet. Endlessly.

And there is more than a little of Astrid Lindgren's Christmas spirit in my stories. And then there's Peter Pan, and The Nightmare before Christmas, and all the other stories I love. But I believe there's enough in there that is only mine. My teddyfolk, my winter princes, my snow child and the balcony of love, which I can't help but wishing were real.

And now I understand: I'm supposed to save the puppy in Påfyll. He is waiting for me to bring him to Aurora. I'm so slow sometimes.

Jim Di Bartolo said...

Hi Tone!

I just wanted to pop on over and say "Thanks! :)" for always having my wife's (Laini's) back on all of her political posts. SO kind of you and it's great to see connections made from so far away!

Oh, and happy belated anniversary! We just had our 10-year first-date anniversary -- happy relationships are the BEST huh?! :)

Warm regards,

Laini Taylor said...

Thanks for the description! I like the idea of both maps. I may try that in the future. And "an abandoned child whose soul is made entirely of ice"? So cool!

JULIE K said...

Heia. Hvordan gikk det med alle kaninene? Fikk de seg hjem ?

Kirsti said...

ok then... kirstythirsty is up and running!

tone almhjell said...

Thanks, Jim!

And you're right. Happy relationships really are quite wonderful.

Julie K, yes, every little rabbit got a temporary home, thank god. Now they just need new families.

Calandria said...

Hi Tone,

I just wanted to thank you for your comments on my blog. Wow! A real, live Norwegian actually commented on my blog! :-) I really appreciate your point of view as I love to learn more about how people live and why they make the choices they make. In fact, that is actually what I love best about travel--to understand better people who are supposedly different from me.

I am also so pleased that you commented because now I've discovered your cool blog. From these posts it looks like you are writing a fantasy story. A novel? I'm trying to write a novel. It's harder than I expected. I suppose that shows how new I am at this. :-P Good luck with your writing and I look forward to coming back here.

tone almhjell said...

Hi Calandria, welcome!

It certainly is a struggle to write. It is one thing to be able to stich words together beautifully, and quite another to weave them into a real story, a long one, not just a clever snippet.

Before this I've only ever written snippets.

But it helps to know that others are working hard, too, and that's one of the reasons I love Laini's blog. She makes me feel better about the whole process. I go to 'Not for robots' for comfort :)

My novel is fantasy, yes. I look forward to seeing you here again!