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Had a lovely little epiphany yesterday that made things – well, pretty damned complicated, when I was planning for a novel taking place largely in the countryside and one fictional town. Simple enough: build a map in Auto REALM, my favorite free procrastination tool, being sure to look at a few real maps for verisimilitude,  and off I go.  Now, because of one little aha! moment whilst washing dishes, I have a continent-crossing, town-and-city-encompassing plot set in alternate-history  Elizabethan-era England… and so much for having finished all my research. I read up on two travelling cultures and felt pretty smart:  and now I need maps, detailed maps with roads and town names and ship routes. And more cultural information, this time on Elizabethan-era England so I don’t completely screw that one up. Writing fantasy gives me plenty of room to fudge stuff, but I hate doing that, and honestly I imagine it’d make me look like an idiot.

If this weren’t now a very, very cool story-to-be, I’d go curl up on the couch and spend the next month or so catching up on all my reading. But it’s cool. It’s exciting and complicated and has definite series-potential if handled correctly, and my MCs are already so much fun, and they’re still in my head.


Soooo, back to the interwebs and the library I go.

(incidentally, if you’re looking for old maps and don’t want to spend hours sneezing in the Fragile Books section of the library, this site is looking pretty excellent so far.)

See, I can talk all I want about how great it is to have a road map when writing a novel, but useful as all this is going to be later (providing everything doesn’t switch direction on me and send me off on some other frenzy of note-taking and Googling in , say, 17th century France)  –this part still sucks rocks.


One 2 page general plot description: check.

One pile of halfway-illegible notes: check.

One more pile of largely illegible notes: yet to come.

One plot arc in Excel, high points described in detail, with character arcs arrayed underneath in pretty color coded ultimate geekdom: yet to come.

One chapter by chapter description of events: well, let’s see where we are mid-week.