Besides my non-fiction here and on Superversive SF/Castalia House (which is non-paying and thus just for fun), I am going to make a real effort to get my novel “The Knights of Avalon” written. I’ve given up on picking a specific date to finish it by, having finally given in and realizing that a time clock with no actual consequences just is not enough to trick my brain. I’m far too lazy.
So instead my goal can be stated in one sentence: Plan the Hell out of it.
I’m going to bite the bullet and try out the Snowflake Method to outline my novel. Outlining is very useful and very difficult – this hopefully will help.
My biggest problem will be setting. This takes place in a futuristic Great Britain that a series of catastrophic disasters has transformed into a drought-plagued wild west landscape. BUT – that doesn’t excuse me from knowing the terrain. Atlases, I suppose, are my friend, but what I really need to do is plot the novel, get a map, map out the route, and then figure out exactly where my characters will be and when. This should help me get a bearing with the setting.
My futuristic King Arthur universe (still no series title) has officially been kicked off, by the way. My short story “The Tale of Lance”, which I submitted to the anthology “After Avalon, takes place in that universe. My original idea was for it to be a chapter of the book, but it may just end up being an origin story not actually published in main continuity. We shall see. It is the origin story of Lance Shaw, outlaw and, perhaps, a future Knight of the new Round Table. One day his gang kidnaps a Priest, who tells him that dark forces are awakening in the south of Britain…
The next thing I write set in that universe might be “The Tale of Gavin”. Gavin Erewood is a companion of Lance’s, inspired partially by the character of Pelleas, Merlin’s steward, in “The Pendragon Cycle”, and partially by western archetypes like Tonto. As I wrote the story I ended up hinting at a far richer past than I had originally intended for Gavin, who I’ve realized can fill a very important function in my novel while having a very interesting origin story himself to boot. So that story may come next, both because I think it will be an entertaining story and because it will help me with some of the background details of the novel, which may end up becoming VERY important later depending on what I decide to do.
So that’s what I’m up to right now. Don’t expect serious work to start until May ends and school is out, since I all know I’m keeping you transfixed with my reports.