Don’t know how I did it, but I think I’ve written the middle of A Fall of Diamonds, or at least a good portion of the middle, without writing the beginning.
This week I participated in a five-day online writing event, writing hour to hour on my novel and posting the hourly word count, and was surprised to discover:
- During the course of a day, I can write 4000 – 5000 words, at a rate of about 600 words an hour.
- I know a lot about the story, but not enough to really drive the plot. Why?
- I think because I start with the love triangle, bringing my main characters onstage and setting them in motion before the reader gets to know them. Who are these people really? Why should the reader care? I make it a given that Caroanya, Coron, and Prince Laimond are the closest of friends and confidantes, and I try to illustrate this in the early scenes, but it is not enough. The reader needs more character front-story. (Just made that up, but you know what I mean.) Character setup–yes.
Prince Laimond is the closest to being a villain yet he isn’t; he is anti-heroic (and I like anti-heroes). Coron is the hero and Caro the heroine. I also have a number of important secondary characters: Lord Iancarron, friend to Coron and Caro; the Dowager Princess, Prince Laimond’s mother, a woman of wisdom and judgment; Lady Valdina, who starts off as a minor character but is becoming important; and the Princess Royal of Lenore and her father, the king.
I’ve written 30,557 words (17,710 words during the event) but don’t yet have the story–seems like. I thought I did. I’ve got a completed beat sheet and a detailed outline, character sketches and story notes, not to mention having thought about this book for a long time. (I realized I could not pants a 100,000-word novel and so took a more structured approach.) And it looks like I’ve written the middle before the beginning. I know the end. And this is only Book 1.
A Fall of Diamonds is character-driven. I need to build my main characters before I set the plot in motion.