As you may recall, I attempted to write a novel for NaNoWriMo this past year. I FAILED. Miserably. I don't think I made much progress on the novel at all. I was going for a fantasy novel, and I think my idea is pretty good, but the events of November 2005 conspired against me.
Be that as it may, I decided not to discard my story. After all, I still think the idea is good. What I've realized in the last couple of months is that there is more back story that must go into a good fantasy novel than can be written in a month. Characters need to be given histories. Heck, the whole world needs a history, in my opinion. I've been having a LOT of fun developing backgrounds for the different characters and places I've developed. Basically, I have the opportunity to write a world history from scratch. That might sound daunting, but it's actually quite enjoyable. I'm not filling in every single detail, but I'm trying to be fairly thorough.
I've found that this practice can make a big difference in understanding the mindset of the characters. For instance, how would a Vilagal from Kurjik react if he was asked by outsiders to participate in a war that has not touched his village? With suspicion, I assure you! And exactly what motivates the Linodith? Okay, now I'm just throwing out different names from my story, and that's not helpful. What I want to say is, once you get certain people, cultures, and attitudes established it's almost as though the story writes itself. You get to watch history unfold!
I've debated over writing about my story in this blog. Right now I don't think I'll write much more than the occasional vague reference because I don't want to give everything away. After all, it's sure to be a best seller and I'd hate to ruin the suspense now! [/tongue-in-cheek] You never know, though. I might just share the development in relative detail! Well, I guess it's back to story-crafting to me! God bless.