More novel plans

Days slither by and we draw closer to June. Once next month arrives, I’m planning to put my prolific hat back on, and keep it attached until the end of July.

Quick recap: I’m two thirds of the way through writing my fantasy novel’s second draft. Its working title is ‘The Fractured Isle.’ I hope to write the final third in June, and bring it to between 90,000 and 100,000 words. It’s currently a little bit over 60,000 words. Based on the fact I did a bit over 1,000 words a day for both February and April, I’ve set myself an achievable goal. Then, another CampNaNoWriMo will hit in July. I’m hoping to write a short story collection of around 30,000 words, designed to flesh out the fictional world of my novel. However, I like the idea of putting it out there, possibly designed as a good introduction to my fictional country of Serevan.

I want the novel to stand on its own two feet, but also for it to be interesting enough that readers go ‘I wanna know more!’ The short stories will not be necessary to understand the book, but they will give a more in depth look at things. So as I begin to plan them, I’d love to know what potential readers would be looking for.

‘The Fractured Isle,’ is going to be the first book in what will probably end up as a trilogy. It’s set primarily in one area of Serevan, mostly in and around a single city called Squall’s Folly. So I can either try and provide more detail about it in short story form, or I could explore other areas of the country. For instance, there’s the nation’s capital of High Winterton, home to both the monarchy and the high priests of Serevan’s Church. There’s the city of Cotstone, famed for its pale stone and its grand fighting arena. They’re both mentioned in the story, but in the first book, they’re not visited.

Of course, I also need to decide who the main characters of the short stories will be. The novel primarily has three POV characters. I plan to write around ten short stories, each around about 3,000 words. I could either look at what my novel’s characters were up to before they found themselves embroiled in things, or I could look at other characters.

This is where I’d love the opinions of anyone reading this. Let’s pretend you’re planning to read my novel, and that you’ve decided to check out the short stories first. Would you prefer an overview of Serevan, which would set you up for every place visited in an entire trilogy? Or would you go for a collection that shines a brighter torch on more specific things and places? Also, do you want introductions only to characters you’ll meet in the novel? Would it annoy you if I wrote a story about a random guy who went to visit somewhere? It would give a flavour for what the world is like, but the guy get stabbed, killed and is never mentioned again.

Let me know in the comments, and you can influence the creative plans of another human being.


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