I'm a pantser, which means I write by the seat of my pants. I don't plan out my stories. I have the basics in my head, and flesh it out as I go along. I always found plotting and planning to be restrictive when the character went one way and the plan went the other.
This week I met with my friend Kayelle Allen, who is a wonderful Sci-Fi writer, for lunch. I wanted to pick her brain on a workshop she attended. I wanted to go, but it was my daughter's 12 birthday, and well, my baby girl comes first.
We started talking about my current project. It's the first in a YA series with the main character being a medium. Her name is G. W. Sanders. Her being a medium is not public knowledge. She likes to keep it on the down low. This originally started as a short story, but as this pantser knows, the story got away from me. It happens. We were discussing a plot issue I discovered and she tells me, "You need to create a world and know exactly how your ghosts interact in that world."
Crud. I've never built a world before. You would think the ghost world would be easy to create, but it's not as easy as you think. I'm having some problems on how my ghost world would work. Why are they here and not gone into the Hereafter? Do they have reason to stay? Are they being punished or have unfinished business. Were they scared to "go into the light," or going to Hell? How strong are they? How do they manifest and where do they get the energy? There are a lot of things to think about.
That's just one thing. What about G. W.'s friends. How do they interact with her as a medium, or the town itself. Why is the town so full of paranormal, supernatural and magical energy? Is it on a ley line? Near running water? Have bad things happened that attract this sort of energy? Does the layout of the town give the ghosts more power? Did something happen to make the town a magnet for paranormal, supernatural, and magical happenings? How does this effect G. W.'s gift? Her studies? Her friends?
There is so much to think about. I think my brain hurts.
Maybe I should build my fictitious college town in Minecraft. I could get my son to help me. I could build the college, the shops, the cool stores and restaurants like Cosmic Mysterioso and Batter Up. I could play out plot problems with Steve the ghasts, sheeps, cows and pigs. I know, I'm dramatic and over the top, but it might be rather fun.
My daughter loves anime. She talks about it all the time. She's in the anime club at school, draws amazing pictures of characters in the shows she likes, as well as, original characters for stories she creates. She talks about the "canon" quite a bit. That is what I need to create. A canon. Where all the rules, character profiles, plans for the town, and the ghost reside. I've never done this before and the task is daunting. So the story is on the back burner until I get all this figured out.
The task at hand is to finish getting The Girl in the Golden Cage, my latest finish, to my beta reader and edited, and to build the world of G.W. Sanders. Wish me luck and I will keep you posted.