I wrote last week about the Snowflake Method, by Randy Ingermanson, of designing a novel. There are many schemes for designing or analysing your novel, and I posted one recently here, but this one has grabbed my attention and I’m finding it invaluable.
One of the stages involves writing a synopsis of the novel from one character’s point of view. You can write a more detailed synopsis for each of your major characters, and a brief synopsis for the minor ones. In each case it will show up inconsistencies, conflicts, and any other problems.
In my case, it also showed up large chunks of time where the character is missing all together! The Kestrel is a small ship with a crew of eleven, and while I appreciate that you can’t write the minutiae of everybody’s daily life, they can’t really get away from one another. But when I traced each character through the book, I found that I had ignored several of them entirely for most of the story.
Luckily, tracing the characters wasn’t hard, because I use yWriter software (details next week), which does it for you. And because the software splits chapters into scenes, and allows you to print out the chapter and scene headings, I’ve been able to sit and work out where there should be more involvement for each character.
I’ve made copious notes, together with notes from the other stages of the Snowflake Method. All I have to do now is a whole lot of rewriting. That’s all!