This post contains 4 glittery term(s): bitch, damn, fkn, shitty.
Going Places – #AtoZChallenge
They are going all over the damn map.
Which is funny, since I don’t really have a damn map drawn up for them yet. And keeping them straight direction-wise has been a real bitch.
There are multiple ways to keep track of your characters’ wanderings:
1. A digital spreadsheet
This is a great plan, and I can see how it would come in handy, typing in all those directions and instructions and whatnot.
But I’m a very visual person – meaning I’m not very good at picturing things in my head. It’s one of the reasons I dread playing chess – I can’t see far enough ahead to build any real strategy.
So while a spreadsheet is a great way for me to record my characters’ progress, and an easy way to refer back when I’m confused or need to double-check my notes, I don’t think it would be the most effective way to help me as I’m actually in the process of writing and trying to remember, “Is this bitch moving east or west?”
Which is a question I have actually asked myself.
2. Index cards
This is maybe closer to what I’m looking for.
However, I already have an index card system in place for my outline, each card representing a separate beat, and all of them heavy with notes to keep my plot straight. Not sure I want to risk mixing things up.
I happen to be the world’s biggest klutz and have actually dropped my plot cards multiple times. I didn’t think to number them till the third time I got them all tangled up.
I’m a bit slow to learn.
So more cards = BAD PLAN.
3. Color-coded sticky-notes
This system could work. It’s what I’m using for now.
The color-coding part of the equation is of vast importance to me, because the world in which my characters live is loosely based on the color wheel, as such:
Emandine starts out up north, deep within the Red Desert, where magic has just about dried up and the folks depend upon whatever old pieces of technology have managed to hold out since the last Great War. When her mute niece, Dotanna, runs away with her friend, a talking ape named Anson, Emandine has to follow her east, into the plains of Orangeville and on toward the yellow Sunflower Fields, where a witch named Panetone resides. From there Emandine moves toward the center of the world, to The City, where she stops at Miss Molly’s.
Down south, in the heart of the Greene, where magic still thrives, Medaskal is struggling to stay hidden. After he is visited by an old friend and lover, who imparts some critical information on the Wizard’s whereabouts, Medaskal takes off westward toward the Blue watery lands, and then into the Purple Mists, with his assistant, Kephas, and a Tarot Cat named Diffel as his guide. An exchange with the witch Delarosa sends them to Miss Molly’s, where Medaskal joins forces with Emandine.
There is a lot of movement happening here and just about everyone is going places. I can’t keep it straight in my mind, so being able to see where everyone is versus where they are headed is crucial.
4. Cartography creation programs.
I haven’t found one I like – by which I mean to say I don’t understand how they work and new things are scary so I haven’t really given them a chance and my sticky notes are working just fine thank you very much.
I will probably need to check out these nifty map-making apps, as my novel nears completion and my characters continue going places. So if any of you are experienced in this type of thing, I’m not too proud to beg:
How do you keep up with your people? Or do they not travel much? That is something I may need to consider in my next project – making everyone stand still and do all the journeying in their minds.
Because maps are fkn hard and I’m not exactly an experienced orienteering geek.
Did I ever tell you about the time I was wearing night-vision goggles and I almost fell off a cliff? And how I only narrowly avoided such death thanks to a severe bout of claustrophobia that saw me tear the goggles from my face – at which point I noticed I happened to be standing at the edge of a precipice?
THAT REALLY HAPPENED, YOU GUYS.
Visit My April AtoZ 2014 Posse to see who I’m making time for this month.
Or stop by my post The Great and Powerful AtoZ Challenge Theme Reveal to see a list of all my AtoZ entries for 2014.