Welcome to week three of NaNoWriMo Prep mini-series. For those who are new, this series will be made up of four posts to help you prepare for National Novel Writing Month. To get caught up, you can find the first three posts, here (post 1)here (post 2), and here (post 3). This week’s post is all about Final Preparations. Before getting started, I just want to remind everyone the method I am using is part of Randy Ingermanson Snowflake Method. This post will focus mostly on step 8 but will cover 1-7 as well.

After the last three week’s, you should have at least a one-page synopsis of your story, maybe you went as far as and did the four-page summary. With that, you should have fleshed out your character’s. From the protagonist(s) and antagonist(s), and secondary characters. Maybe you just did the first two, or you went through and have a profile for every important character in the story. You need to do what works for you. Now, it is time to help you prepare to start writing this on November 1st.

Unless you have a very detailed outline, or I like to call it a turn by turn outline that literally is every action the POV characters turn. I have done these outlines in the past and they don’t work for me, but they may work for you. What I found does work for me is a scene list. This is step eight of Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method. Take your synopsis and start breaking down every scene. If you have the longer synopsis it will be easier.

(click image for larger view)

screen-shot-2016-10-25-at-9-27-29-amThis is a picture, is how I do my scene lists. The first column is the chapter number, the second column is scene number, the third is POV Character, the fourth is the summary of the scene. The last for columns work in pairs. The first two are estimated pages for the scene and estimated of words for the scene. I have a formulate that bases 250 words per page. All I have to do is put the number of pages, and the formula tells me how many words in the next column. The last two columns are actually pages and words after I write the scene. I manually enter both of these.

If you would like this, you can download an excel file here. It is a two-page document one like the page is setup and another that keeps track of all the pages and words in each section. This is how I do it, you don’t need to do it like that. I find knowing all my scenes helps me write. I have tried in the past from working through a bullet system and fill in the space between as I write. I can, but this is so much better. I always know what I need to write.

There will be days usually as the weeks go by, it will get harder to write. Knowing what you need a scene to achieve makes writing a little bit easier. I’ll cover the writing process at the end. For now, let’s move on to the last part of prep. Besides the scene list, use the time left to go back and fix anything you think or know needs it. If it means going back and reworking your one sentence line, do it. Even if it means writing a whole new paragraph, page, and four-page summary. In the end, it will help you. I know that’s a lot of work, but it will save you from having to do it after you write the book and find that everything is confusing because your summary isn’t up to date with what you discovered after doing your character sketches.

If you are writing a fantasy and magic is going to be a big part of it, spend some time figuring out how it works. Same goes for technology if you’re writing a Science Fiction story. I am all about knowing how things work, even if you will not ever tell the reader how. You can still have that sense of wonder knowing how things work. Also, if you write just right, you will have your fans dissecting the story for any clues on how it does. Just a thought.

The same goes for the world, I love doing maps of my storyworlds, but not just worlds, dungeons, palaces, you name it I like to have it. It helps me keep track of where things are. You don’t need anything super fancy, just enough to know where things are. This just a helpful tool, but you don’t need to do any of this. I would say if you want to do this and you don’t have things to fix in your synopsis, do it. You story for structure should take focus over this. I only say that, because this is NaNo Prep. Any other time, I would say otherwise, mostly because there is no cropping deadline to start writing the story by.

Finally, I just want to give you some advice. The first day, probably the first week you may find writing is a blast and everything is just flowing out of you. Great. Get as much writing done as you can. The daily goal is 1667 words. If you hit this every day for 30 days you will reach the 50k word count goal to win. If things are flowing, in the first week keep writing, if you have the time. Why do I say that? Good question. As the weeks go on, the hard it gets. Life hits you. Something you forgot about comes up that you need to do, or something at work makes you stay longer hours and you don’t get to write. You may not feel like writing because you’re tired or sick or whatever the reason. Writer’s block may pop up, even with all the preparations you have done.

The more you get done while the fire is burning and words are flowing the better. 1667 is not that many words. You can say I can hit that daily. What about 2143? That’s a lot of words if you haven’t ever written a novel before. That is how many words you will have to write daily after missing seven days of writing. Wanna know how I know?

The 1667 word count, is based on 50k word count goal, and 30 days. Divide 50,000 by 30 you get 1666.666 repeating. The more days you miss the more words you have to write to win. Good news, one or two or even three days, isn’t that much different. There is good news. The more words you write beyond 1667, the fewer words you have to write the next day to win. If you write 5000 words in one day, you have a lot fewer words to write now.

Let’s say you write 5000 words on day one of NaNoWriMo. You have 45000 words left. You only have to write 1551 words from now on to hit 50k by November 30th. Let’s day two you write another 5000 words. Now, you have to write 1428 words per day. Now on day three something comes up and you can’t write. You have to write 1481 words to hit 50k. Not bad. Still low. The more words you can get written early, the better chance you will be able to hit the 50k goal by the 30th as other things pop up and take away from your writing time. Trust me, there is nothing more demoralizing and cuts off the creative juices to see you need to write 6000 words per day to win. For me, that would be a challenge. First timers or even experienced writers who have done NaNo for years may lose hope.

I have had years doing NaNo and the juices would not flow. I didn’t want to write anything. It is what eventually kicked me into gear to start planning a head and really using my free time to work on my projects. Two years later and I am doing well.

That is all for this National Novel Writing Month Prep series. I hope everyone gets a good start on Tuesday and goes strong and wins. There is a chance I will post a review of my NaNo writing experience. However, more than likely it will be part of my Weekly Writing Wrap-up. Check back on Friday for the next post in our new sub-series on Economics.








Welcome to this week’s Weekly Writing Wrap-up, hope everyone had a great week and got a lot of writing done. I sure did, so let’s dive right into the mix.

I have come to realize that all of Kiana’s POV sections in Seeing Through The Veil have to be rewritten to work with my new scene list. At one point I wouldn’t be okay with that, but now I am. It is the price of having a stronger book than what it was. At this point, I am only a section and a half away from hitting the area where I stopped draft 2 and went back to start draft 2.1. I said last week I thought I was already there. Nope. I will be after today. I am in the middle of section 5 with Kiana. Will finish section 6 as well. Tomorrow, I pick up where I left off. It will be interesting to see how many words I can count out of those areas. Everything thus far has been reworking and rewriting sections I have already cut down.

Tomorrow, I pick up where I left off. It will be interesting to see how many words I can count out of those areas. Everything thus far has been reworking and rewriting sections I have already cut down. I should be able to cut it down a lot if I can find the heart of each scene and what needs to be achieved and what is excess fat. I am excited to see how the second half of the novel turns out. My guess is my overall word count is going to be right around 100k. I am okay with that. With feedback from readers, I should be able to figure out what else needs to be cut and how to tighten everything up.

Tomorrow makes one week until NaNoWriMo starts. Hope everyone who is doing it has their story ready to go. I sure do. In my made craze to get draft 2.1 completed, I have had no time to work on other characters for book 1 of Forbidden Realm, Pyre. I do have the two main characters profiles done. I am going to review them this week and tweak them a little. I have decided to try something Brandon Sanderson does for his characters. Discovery-write them. If you have read this blog for long you will know I totally against organic writing. Okay, that’s not completely true. I discovery write my scenes, based on the main action or discover needed. But prep-work like characters

If you have read this blog for long you will know I totally against organic writing. Okay, that’s not completely true. I discovery write my scenes, based on the main action or discover needed. But prep work like characters, they need to be done. I guess, since my two protagonists profiles are done I am good on that, but we will see. There are a few important characters that have lots of screen time. It will be something interesting to try. If it turns out I don’t like it, I can always do their profiles. I will complete all of NaNoWriMo without profiles, though. After 50k if I need to go and flesh the characters out more than I can. By then I will have a better feel for them.

Finally, I have selected my next series to start fleshing out. The Gathering. This was supposed to be my epic trilogy, that when I came up with the idea in 2009, would meet my definition of a trilogy. If you must know, a trilogy to me is a grand story, adventure. The books don’t need to be over a thousand pages, just the feel, and importance. Lord of the Rings is a great example of this. Today, I feel too many authors do trilogies for the sakes of a complete story or it fits best in the three-act-structure of a plot.

Back on topic. Forbidden Realm meets this now, but I plan to keep it as a trilogy. I know there is another story after the trilogy, but I am not sure how that will fit in. The original idea was for that story to be part series that connects all my worlds together. Time will tell, maybe I will follow through with the original idea for epic crossover series and have chapters where after a series of book series are complete I do series of what is going on in the over multiverse and another series of series and the next chapter. Still working on both part. I am just now reviewing what I have already developed in the past on the series. The more I work on it the more I will learn and know.

Time will tell. That is all I have today. Check back on Wednesday for the final post in the NaNoWriMo Prep mini-series. Friday will be the second post in our new sub-series on Economics. With that, everyone have a great week and get some writing done.


Welcome to this weeks craft post. Sorry for a such a late posting. I thought I wrote this post yesterday and it turns out I didn’t. For those of you who are new, we have been going through a massive series on Worldbuilding. Today we start a new sub-series on Economics. If you would like to get caught up you can find all the post thus far under the Worldbuilding link in the toolbar above.

You may be wondering why I am talking about resources in an economics post?  As great as what kind of currency system you have, that isn’t all that comes with economics. Gold means nothing to someone who needs water and there is no water around. Someone who is given a diamond the size of their fist is not going to care if they need timber or granite to build a shelter. See where I am going with this?

Pull out your map of your world. Look at the locations of all your races and cities are located. What are some of their resources? Are there some in the mountains? Well, they got rock, ore they could mine. Any woods nearby? Timber for homes, for the blacksmith’s furnace. What about open plains, you know for farming? These are just some examples of resources from the earth. Did you come up with something else unique to your world? Maybe you should give it a shot.

The key thing about resources is that what someone doesn’t have the people or rulers find a way to get. If the closest kingdom or village has something they don’t and they won’t trade with them or just don’t want to give up the resource because to them it is far more meaningful, what happens? War. People go to war for any reason. Resources or even sacred land. If you have magic in your world, is possible there are magic crystals that do something unique and are only grown in one area. Maybe a kingdom has special waters that can heal the King’s illness of your POV characters Kingdom, but they are natural enemies.

Start thinking about what kind of resources that are rare in your world. Maybe Gold is so common it is worth is that of a copper. Maybe Quartz crystal is as rare as Diamonds. Make a list and see what you come up with. If you have magic see if there is a way to make that a resource.

That is all today, next week we will focus on currency. Check back on Monday for my Weekly Writing Wrap-up and Wednesday for the final post in the NaNoWriMo Prep series.


Welcome to week three of NaNoWriMo Prep mini-series. For those who are new, this series will be made up of four posts to help you prepare for National Novel Writing Month. To get caught up, you can find the first two posts, here (Post 1) and here (post 2). This week’s post is all about Characters. Before getting started, I just want to remind everyone the method I am using is part of Randy Ingermanson Snowflake Method. I merging different steps together to cover most of it in the four posts. You can read Randy’s free article on the Snowflake Method here. Today’s post I will be merging steps 3, 5 and 7 together.

So you have completed a full synopsis of your novel by taking your five sentence paragraph and turned each sentence into a paragraph. Maybe you even went beyond that and took each paragraph and fleshed it to a full page. Awesome. You know what is going to happen in your novel. What about the people who are in your story? You may have heard Character Driven stories before. If not you have now. As plotted out as you make your novel if the actions of characters in the story don’t seem believable or natural, it will seem more like events are happening to push the story forward instead of character’s actions moving them forward.

“Ah! Just perfect. Now you tell me. I have this five-page detailed story of what is going on, and now you tell me my characters have to be believable and would do these things? Just Perfect!” Some of you might be thinking that little quote. I kept it clean for this post. The bad news is yes. You might now be thinking why didn’t I start with characters? Well, that’s because if you visit Randy’s article you see he doesn’t start characters. It is why I posted a link to that page in the first post, post the link to the first post in the series last week, not just so new readers could get caught up. It is also why I reposted the link to the article this week.

There is good news. Now that you know a lot more about your story, I know what you need from your characters. Besides that, you know more about your protagonist and antagonist than you think. Let’s start from the beginning. Make a list of all your main characters. Once you have that list make a new page either in your word document or notebook and put the character’s name on top of the page. Then answer these questions.

  • The character’s name (You already have this)
  • A one-sentence summary of the character’s storyline
  • The character’s motivation (what does he/she want abstractly?)
  • The character’s goal (what does he/she want concretely?)
  • The character’s conflict (what prevents him/her from reaching this goal?)
  • The character’s epiphany (what will he/she learn, how will he/she change?
  • A one-paragraph summary of the character’s storyline

As Randy warns you may need to go back and fix one of your sentences. I didn’t warn you because I am not going in order of the steps. Don’t worry about going back yet. I took this into account before I started this series. For some of you, these questions may not be enough. They aren’t for me, so if you would like more  you can find Google search character profiles to see what you find. You can check out the one I use, character-cheat-sheet. Don’t worry more is coming in the Snowflake method. My character sheet is an option to use or take the information from to use as yourself for the next step.

Once you have your one page of information of the questions above. Now it is time to come up with a description of your character. Randy recommends a page for each character but this is up to you. This is fleshing out your character. This is step 5 and 7 is really continuing the expanding on your characters. Write down enough information about your characters that you feel comfortable with. Some things to think about is, what your characters look like, personality, history. Randy recommends telling the story through each character’s eyes. This would be their storyline. All of this is up to you.

The more you learn about your characters you will probably realize that some of the things you want them to do in your synopsis, they wouldn’t do or would only after being forced. You might think this is horrible. It’s not. It means your characters are coming alive. You can take George Lucas approach and have your characters be that of chess pieces and they do what you want or you can have real characters and let them tell you how they would act. Publishers love character driven stories.

Let’s give an example. Maybe you have a really cool part where one of your characters purposely sabotages a mission. It is key to the story and it isn’t your villain who does it. Now the character who was going to do this would never do such a thing. You don’t want to remove it because it would mess up your awesome way your protagonist gets around it. You have two options, change the character that can be hard if the character you have is already alive and telling you she wouldn’t do it. Or come up with a way where that character has no choice but to do it. The villain forces him to do it. Maybe, only by sabotaging the mission can the protagonist survive.

Trust me when I say, listening to your characters is only going to make your story stronger. If you get stuck on thing having to happen the way you came up, and force characters to do things they wouldn’t, you aren’t going to have a very good book. Now, there are genres that don’t worry as much about being character driven and focus more on the plot. Like a Thriller, well good don’t worry about so much. However, the stronger your characters regardless of the genre you are writing the better the story will be.

That is all for this post. Next week will be our last post, and it will focus on Final preparations. If you would like to know more about what that is, check the first post in this series to find out.

For anyone who is new to my blog and like the content of like this, be sure to check out my Weekly Craft post on Fridays. We are heavily into a massive series on Worldbuilding. This Friday we will be starting a new sub-series on Economics. You can get caught up on all the sub-series in the series by going to the Worldbuilding link in the toolbar. Monday’s I post my Weekly Writing Wrap-up, that covers how  I am doing on my current projects. That’s all, check back soon.


Welcome to this week’s Weekly Writing Wrap-up. This will be a wrap-up for two weeks, not just this past week but the week before as well. Two Storms, one good the other, eh! Let’s jump into two week’s ago. Get the okay week out of the way.

I got nothing! Wait. No, I think there is a little more I can say about that week. I got practically nothing done.

Yep, that was two weeks ago. Well, I shouldn’t say nothing, I just got little done on draft 2.1 done. I realized that Section 3 has a lot more re-writing than spit and polish. While I was trying to remove a few words by re-writing, I actually added words. It isn’t a bad thing because I am no longer looking at trying to cut words from 178,000 words. I looking at my word count of the sections I have completed. When I get to the areas of the draft I never got to in draft 2, I will be able to drastically cut words again.

While I am glad I figured this out, I wish it wasn’t when I was trying to do a thousand other things during the week and not work on it more. Oh well, I know it now. Which leads me into the second storm. The second one is very good. I made a lot of progress on in other areas. Before I get going on those, let me wrap up on draft 2.1 for this past week. It is going well, I wish I worked on it more, but I did get a lot more done than the week before it. I will finish section 3 and 4 this week and start on section 5. If my memory serves me well, that is the section where I will be starting to cut word again. I could be wrong.

As for the evolution as I refer to it in the title, is referring to the many other projects. For those of you who are new to my blog this week, month or six months may not be aware that I am working on a massive interconnective storyworld. Every series I put out will be part of a grand multiverse. I haven’t talked much about it lately, solely because that story is so far off, there is no need. Also, I work on that part here and there.

This past week I did a little more work on it. I finally, completed and locked the creation of the multiverse. Just a side note I had a completely different creation for the multiverse a little over a year and a half ago. I decided to change it because of my thoughts on matters no longer the same as when I started piecing it together years before. The reason for this sudden work is I had to change out one of the worlds from my World of Five Worlds. I realized this because I was looking to select the next world from the four remaining worlds to develop next. The Veil series being the first.

Without giving away ideas and current spoilers, a character from the creation of the multiverse has a rather large impact on a few storyworlds and they you can figure them out by the world the story takes place in. That may sound super confusing. Maybe this would be easier. In four different series take place in the same world but are not the same world. Nope, still confusing. I’ll move on. To figure out how all four of these worlds that are the same work I need to work through how this character interacts with them.

Nope still damn confusing. Anway, I am at the point now where I get to explore the ideas I have and why this character is so fascinated with this one world. One of these four has a huge event that affects the rest of the multiverse. It will be interesting to see what comes up. Going back to the World of Five Worlds, I have a rough idea of which world I am going to start developing next. Once I finish draft 2.1 and start writing Forbidden Realm book 1: Pyre. No longer is it called Chrono’s War.

That is all I got this week. I have a lot to complete in the next two weeks to prepare for NaNoWriMo. Speaking of National Novel Writing Month, check back on Wednesday for Penultimate post in my NaNoWriMo Prep series. Friday, we will be starting a new Sub-Series. Which I have no clue on what. That I plan to figure today and just the new one, but the next few sub-series so I am not trying to figure out. I will post the new sub-series at the end of my NaNo Prep post on Wednesday. Other than that, get writing.


Welcome to this week’s Craft Post. Hope everyone is having a good week. Sorry, about no Weekly Writing Wrap-up this week. I got tied up with a lot of things and before I knew it, it was Tuesday night. I have one up this week for sure. Are you enjoying my mini-series on NaNoWriMo prep? There’s only two left. Before diving into our final post on civilizations, if you are new we have been going through a massive series on Worldbuilding. You can find all the posts under the Worldbuilding link on the toolbar. Just not caught up on our current sub-series, you can find all those posts here.

Before we start, I have an assignment for you. What, homework? I know. Just humor me. Go over to Google Maps and type any major city name. Click it to Google Earth and zoom out so you can see the whole city. I’ll wait here.

Back. Good. What did you see? Did you notice how the city is laid out? You did. Good. Since long before we know, cities have been laid out in a grid plan. Yep. Roads making of the grids and blocks where the buildings go. As you can see depending what city you viewed in Google Earth, some are more straightforward than others. “Really, you had to make a whole post on this. We could have figured this out on our own.”

I know, that’s not why I decided to do this post. For thousands of years, man has built its cities in grids. Alexander the Great turned it into an artform. Just because this is how we did it on earth, doesn’t mean we have to do it in our worlds. Sure, if humans are in your world they can do it that way. What about other races? Instead of doing a grid, maybe they do a grid, but their blocks are the size of three blocks. This could be that the race likes space so there is plenty of space between each building. Maybe between blocks, there is empty space.

Do your grids need to be in squares? What about a series of interlocking circles? Triangles? How about a race that lives in the trees. Do they have to have a grid? Depending on the tree, some trees may not be strong enough to support structures. Really, how you want to layout your cities, towns, and villages is up to you.

Before you do that, there are some things you should take into account when planning your city. Where is it located? If your settlement is near a river or a river splits it in half, how do they take care of flooding? Do they have walls? Are there walls within the city as in sections? Is the city on a mountain? Or around a mountain, in a mountain? Is it in the middle of a flat field or in the middle of a desert. How does the race that built the city bring their own touches to it to make it more like their own than human?

When planning a major city, you need to think of defenses. Not just walls, but how they fight back against siege towers, catapults, etc. Are there underground tunnels?  I could go on, but I am not. This  post is just to get you thinking about your cities and their layout. Just google city layouts or how to plan a city and you will find so much information on this topic. Do you need to layout every city? No. I don’t even go that far. I only do the areas that will appear in my books.

We have covered what a city is and how you decide the difference between a village, town, city, a major city, etc. To where and why cities form where they do. And how a city is laid out, which the most important thing is Location. Using these take some time to maybe find a city or town in your world and applied what you learned. Take your time. There is no reason to rush.

That’s all I got for this sub-series. Sadly, I have no idea where we will be going next. I haven’t had much time to even ponder it. I do have ideas, but now I need to go back over those this weekend and see which of them will make the most sense. Be sure to check back Monday, I will be posting a Weekly Writing Wrap-up. Wednesday for the Penultimate post in the National Novel Writing Month Prep Mini Series. As always, next Friday for the start of a new Sub-Series.


Welcome to week two of NaNoWriMo Prep mini-series. For those of you who are new, I am posting a four part series on how to prepare for National Novel Writing Month. To get caught up you can find the first post in this series, here. This week is all about fleshing out your novel.

First a quick review of what your assignment for the week was. You were to think through some ideas for the plot of your story. Once you have a few ideas for your story, you were to summarize the plot in one sentence. While I didn’t say it last week, I will now. You should try to get your sentence no longer than twenty words. I spent some time this week to rework my one sentence. Here is what it was last week:

Estranged twin sisters meet up and fight only to realize they have a common enemy and to stop him.

While that was good and does sum up the plot, it could be better. Here is what it is now.

Estrange sisters get entangled in events that lead to a war that happened before they were born.

Seventeen words, the new sentence is. Not only is it shorter by two words, it better summarizes the plot of the book. You might be thinking “so what if it is shorter by two words. What difference do two words make?” Well, as a writer, we want to be able to explain thing in the least amount of words that isn’t losing meaning. Second, this one sentence is known as an elevator pitch. Think of it this way: You are in an elevator hotel and who happens to walk onto the elevator, but a man with a name tag on and the name of publishing company you were planning to send your manuscript when you finished. You get the

You are at a writing convention in the elevator with another man when a woman walks on. You take notice of her name tag to see she is an agent. She takes notice of yours and the other man’s name tags.

“You two are part of the convention?” She asks.

“Yep!” the other man says.

“I am,” you say.

“What is your novel about?” she asks the other man.

“Well, you see, it is about this guy who is from the future and he came back to observe an event. Shit!” the other man says. “You weren’t supposed to know he is from the future. Let me start again.”

The woman holds up her hand. “No thanks. How about you.”

The man to your left blew his chance, but you won’t. “Estrange sisters get entangled in events that lead to a war that happened before they were born.”

“Wow, that’s really interesting.” She reaches into her jacket pocket and pulls out a business card and hands it to you. “Call me. I would love to hear more about your book.”

The elevator stops the doors open and she gets out. You look down at the card, and you see next to her name is the agency you were planning on sending your manuscript to when it was ready.


You might think this is crazy, but this happens all the time at writing conventions. Agents are there to find new talent and simply being able, to sum up, your whole novel in a short sentence could get you a meeting with them or them asking you to send your novel to them. Beyond being able to use this in a pitch for your book, it is a great way to help start your novel.

Now that you have your one sentence plot summary. It is time to expand it. Before I go any further, I want to let you know I will be going steps from Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method of outlining. I will only be going over a few steps. If you’re interested you can find the whole method here.

It is time to make that one sentence into a paragraph. Not just any paragraph, but a paragraph with only five sentences. Why only five sentences? That’s easy. One sentence to give me the backdrop and story setup. Then one sentence each for your three disasters or plot points. Then one more sentence to tell the ending.

Emily and Taryn haven’t seen each other since they were four years old; Emily joined Master Bishop and learn the art of life while Taryn joined the Masia Mage Society and learned magic. The two are brought back together after the man Chrono N brought destruction into their lives; For Taryn, he sent a student to his death to attack her school, Emily, he sent and succeeded in killing the man her master protected. Sister united and long with their friends, they are sent on a mission that leads them to the Temple of Knowledge to learn what the War Lord Chrono is up to. After finding the temple, sisters, friends and hired spaceship pilot and co-pilot they reach the lost source of a powerful energy that Chrono is after to launch a war for control of the universe, where they are forced to fight the powerful life user.

My paragraph is fresh and will spend the week fine-tuning it, but you get the idea. Technically it is five sentences. Spend some time developing yours this week. Now step three. Wait, you thought we were done. Nope. There is more. Once you have a paragraph you like that summarizes your plot it is time to take it to the next level. Take each sentence and turn it into its own paragraph. While in the Snowflake Method, it says each paragraph should be five sentences, but you don’t have to do that. By the time you are done you should have a one-page synopsis of your story. If you want, you can then take each paragraph and turn it into its own page making a five-page in-depth synopsis. However, that is up to you.

I am not going to post a five paragraph summary of my novel here. I may next week, but I doubt it. I will post my fine tuned paragraph, though. This week, you have a lot to do, so get cracking. Next week, we will be looking at characters.

If you have never been to my blog before, and like this post. You may be interested in my other posts. On Friday’s I post a Craft Post every week. We have been going through a long series on Worldbuilding. You can get caught up by going to the Worldbuilding link in the toolbar. It will give you all the sub-series we have covered thus far. This week, we will be covering the third and final post in our Civilizations sub-series.


Welcome to this week’s Craft Post. I hope everyone has had a good writing week. For those who are new, we have been going through a massive series on Worldbuilding. You can find the whole series thus far under the Worldbuilding link in the toolbar. Today we will be covering the second post in the new sub-series on Civilizations. You can find the first post here.

Now that we know a city can be whatever we decide it is, the question is where do civilizations tend to show up? There is only one way to know for sure and that is studying history. There is a major historical event or should I say information that led to the formation of permanent settlements. What was it? Guess! Either you guess right or wrong. The answer: Farming. Learning how to grow and harvest food allowed the early man to start to settle in one place instead roaming the lands.

In that, we have the answer to our question, to where settlements tend to show up. They show up in areas that are fertile. You can’t have a lot of people living in an area where you can’t grow crows post-Neolithic Revolution. Look at where early settlements were located. The fertile crescent in Mesopotamia, China, Eygpt, and India. These are only a few areas. When you are developing the history of your world, and if you cover the area this age, you should remember this.

While we have our answer, we still really don’t have our answer. Settlements appear elsewhere after hundreds of years adapting. Eventually, whatever race or races that mostly populate your world, will have more than they need. They will find other resources other than food, such as ore, or rare and precious metals like gold and silver. (Note, just because gold is the most valuable metal in our world doesn’t mean it has to be in your world.) Also, different settlements will meet up and find resource the other doesn’t have and will want. Trade routes will take place.

This is where another part of the answer comes in. Instead of traveling hundreds of miles to a settlement to settlement, it is easier to meet half way. What happens at these locations, settlements form. Same goes for ports. These areas are where larger settlements will form while smaller villages will form nearby or near farms.

Again, it looks like we have our answer. However, there is one other thing area that needs to be examined. Religious sites. Look at Isreal Judaism or Mecca for Islam. Certain lands, paths, or even regions can be seen as important. This goes back to our religions we craft. In these areas, you can bet all different size settlements will spring up. If we are talking about religion, how about magical lands or sites? If you have Leylines, areas where magic is stronger, I would think people would settle there, especially if you could use magic or learn it.

The closer we get to modern day, we will get settlements that are in remote areas. For these civilizations to form, someone or a group of people had to have reason to settle there. Maybe they wanted to get away from the world. Who knows. However, there is a reason. Depending on how advance your world is or where in history the story falls, you can have random settlements in areas that make no logical sense to settle there. Just be sure you know why the people who founded the town, village, or city.

Before we wrap up today, there is one other thing I want to bring up. While we have a well establish timeline of when civilization started, we are learning that it may not be as clear as we once thought. Areas around the world, we are discovering sites either religious or settlements that predate our earliest known civilizations. This is something you may want to put into your world. If you map out the whole history up to your story, you should know when these areas were settled and by whom. As well, why the abandon them or how they were destroyed.

That’s all for this week. Next week, we will be wrapping up this sub-series with a post on Formation of Settlements. Right now I am looking a what sub-series will be next. I am thinking about Governments, but I feel like I should hold off for a little while. We will see. Check back on Monday for my Weekly Writing Wrap-up. Now on Wednesdays for the month of October only, I will be posting a mini-series on NaNoWriMo Prep. You can find the first in the four post series here.


Welcome to a short series I will be posting every Wednesday for the month of October. It is to help anyone to prepare for National Novel Writing Month that starts November 1st. Normally, I write each post the day or two before I post it like for my Weekly Craft Posts on Friday. You should check those out too. I only know the topic of those post right before I write them. That is not how it is going to work with these four posts. I am going to tell you the topics of all four posts right now.

Week one: or in this post, I will talk about NaNoWriMo and how to start to prepare.

Week two: we will take what we start this week and expand it.

Week three: is all about characters.

Week four: is scene’s list, finish what is needed and review.

Ready? Good. Let’s get started.

What is NaNoWriMo? Or National Novel Writing Month? Well, I think I just answered that question. However, let’s take a little deeper look. Like other months, November has been declared a national time to write a novel. Like National Breast Cancer Awareness month is October. February is Black History month. If you always wanted to write a novel but never had the time? Well, November is the perfect time to do it.

NaNoWriMo.Org is a website where you can join, create a novel for this year and participate. The goal of NaNo is to get writers to write. That’s it. You don’t need to join the website to take part, but if you do and win, (which I will get to in a minute), you get free stuff. Like what you ask? Go to the website and find out. Usually, there is a  site that will give you a printed copy of your book. There are other things as well.

How do you win? That is easy. All you have to do is write 50,000 words by midnight of November 30th. Like I said, the goal is to get writers to write. There are other challenges you can do during it. Like the 5-day challenge. That is 10,000 word a day.  Word wars, where you set a timer to go off in ten minutes and whoever has the most words wins. Part of participating is there are regions all across the country where people meet up at coffee shops or bookstores or Denny’s and write. It is a load of fun.

Now that you know what NaNoWriMo is, and have decided to write a novel. Now, what? That is completely up to you. If this is your first time writing a novel, I would recommend you plan your novel out in advanced. Why? When November 1st comes up and you sit down to write, and suddenly you have no idea where to start, you will understand. I know that there are many people who write by the seat of their pants. However, I recommend this path for someone who never written a novel see if it works.

Okay, you are going to plan out your novel. Wanna know how to start? I sure you do. For this week, I want you do spend some time thinking of some ideas. Write them down, keep them in your head. It doesn’t matter how you do it, just do it. Once you have an idea for a story that you like, I want you to do one thing. Write out the plot of your story in one sentence.  One sentence, are you kidding me!!! You might be thinking. Nope. No details are needed. Just the base idea of your novel. Here, I will give you mine tagline:

Estranged twin sisters meet up and fight only to realize they have a common enemy and to stop him.

This may not be all that interesting, probably because I just wrote it. However, it does cover the plot of the novel. I will spend sometime tweaking it, but it works for now. That is all you need to do this week. Next week, I will show you how to take that sentence and build a whole novel around it.

If you have never been to my blog before, and like this post. You may be interested in my other posts. On Friday’s I post a Craft Post every week. We have been going through a long series on Worldbuilding. You can get caught up by going to the Worldbuilding link in the tool bar. It will give you all the sub-series we have covered thus far. This week, we will be covering the second post in our Civiliazations sub-series.


Welcome to this week’s Weekly Writing Wrap-up. I know I am posting it late, but it is still Monday. The name of the post Getting Caught Up is the sole reason for the late post. Before diving in, I hope everyone has had a strong writing week.

Let’s start with something easy. It is now October, what does that mean? It’s NANOWRIMO Prep time. Yep, National Novel Writing Month is less than a month away. I am thinking of doing a separate weekly post this month solely on Nanowrimo. You know if I find the time this week to write out four weeks of post. That is the only way I am going to be able to do, is if I write them all at once and just schedule post them. So, check back Wednesday to see if something get’s posted.

Anyway, this is the time if you plan to participate in NaNoWriMo, you should be preparing what you are going to write. I recommend starting something new. You can work on whatever you want, but it is better to start something fresh. Also, go to National Novel Writing Month, and join. You can provide a synopsis of your novel and when it starts November 1st, you can keep track of your word counts and see how you are doing as you race to win by writing 50,000 words in a month. That’s all for NaNoWriMo, if I don’t end up doing separate posts, I’ll talk more about prep in these weekly wrap-ups.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get my goal for the week done. I probably could, but I decided there was more value in going to a writing group Tuesday. Then taking a me day on Friday where I just binged watch the first ten episodes of Quantico, a few episodes of Rurouni Kenshin, and the first two episodes of Luke Cage. It was worth it.

I did get through section 2, I just didn’t get to start section 3. That’s okay, that will be the focus for me this week. Especially, now that I got myself caught up in other things I like to do in my free time today. At the rate I am going, I have no clue if I am going to meet my deadline of October 31st to get this draft done. I am going to do my best to try. Thankfully, section 3 only has a little rewritten for each chapter to get done. I may be able to get through section 4 as well. Only because it has three scenes in it.

Beyond getting through section 3, I need to start developing characters for Forbidden Realm. I already have Emily and Taryn’s profiles completed. I now need to get the rest of the characters done. I have a month since I will be starting book one, Chrono’s War for NaNo. Yep, after almost a year of developing that series, I am going to finally start writing it. Funny, thing is, when I start will be right about the time I started developing it.

Well, that’s all for this week. Check back Wednesday to see if I get up the first post on NaNoWriMo. If not, Friday we will continue the new Sub-Series on Civilizations. Hope everyone has a good writing week. You can find me on Twitter @timrgreenebooks.