Saturday, 25 April 2009

The Birth of a Book

This is the very first seed of a book. It's the initial storyboard I made up for Red Grow the Roses to help me sort out the characters and chapters.

The book has a very unusual and strict structure, which works as both a contraint for me and a spur to my imagination. Into that structure I needed to fit a number of major characters - I decided on 6. Each character needed a name, a distinct social personna, a distinct sexual style and to fit into one of the pre-ordained first chapters in order: m/f/m/f/m.

So thank goodness for post-its!

Everything since has just been filling in the gaps.


Craig Sorensen said...

Wow, that is such a cool way to sort out those ideas!

Thanks for sharing!

neve black said...

Yes, I'm echoing Craig. That's very cool.

I've had to sort out dates, characters, places and events for the project I'm up to my eyeballs in right now - but I've put my thoughts into a Excel spreadsheet/ timeline. I love your visual story board concept, Janine.

Are you also a photographer and or a painter?

Nikki Magennis said...

Mm, love the title, Janine! And the book sounds very intriguing. Strict structure, eh? Can't wait to read more.

I bet postits are a very sensible way to plan a book. Rather than, say, scribbling hundreds of plots with only very slight variations between them on hundreds of different bits of paper, throwing them on the floor and rolling around to see what bits stick.

Janine Ashbless said...

Craig, I spent a lot of time worrying about sharing too much - the notes themselves are in cliche shorthand, and I'm hoping are not legible!

Hah - I'm not techie enough to do anything on Excel, Neve, except keep a list of the names I've used. I do have a little bit of talent for drawing so maybe being able to move things round with my hands does help me.

Nikki, you made me snort coffee. Now I've got this picture of you rolling about hoping for a sticky bit. Oh dear, please stop...

Sorry - sleep deprived. I spent last night sleeping in a room with 9 men ... which was not nearly as energetic as it might sound, so you can close your jaws, heh heh. But Oh the SNORING. You notice that men in erotic romance novels never snore, don't you?

Charlotte Stein aka The Mighty Viper said...

I am now wetting myself with excitement over this thing, Janine. It is not okay for you to make me wet myself. I can't wait until you're able to share more details about it!

Cora Zane said...

Oh, wow! Thank you for sharing this! It's interesting to see how someone works with a complicated plot.

jothemama said...

It may be that absence of snoring is the prime reason women read and write erotica.

No snoring, nose hair/ear hair, football, etc.

neve black said...

I wanted to say thank you for taking the time to let us all take a peek at your cool visual/story board idea.

I mentioned earlier that I'd put dates, characters, etc into an Excel spreadsheet, but your story board kept popping up in my head, so over the weekend, I purchased a large, white board and multi-colored Post Its - I'm going to start assemblying the information onto the board this week. I'm a visual learner, so I really think this should help.

Thank you again. I let Donna George Storey know about this too, because I know she's in creative mode; writing her second novel.

p.s. I just read Nikki's comment below and I'm chuckling. She's a funny one, that Nikki. :-)