Monday, July 19, 2010

Writing in Layers

After finishing an extremely rough draft for my Cinderella retelling, I realized that I write in layers.

The first layer is the biggest layer. It's the main plot. Each additional layer is a subplot. And I've discovered that I cannot really think too much about the subplots until I've nailed the plot.

And, I don't ever seem to come up with an ending the first time around. So this time, I did what I did in Starcaster on purpose, and in The Sevenfold Spell by accident. I left the ending unfinished. (With The Sevenfold Spell, I thought I had an ending, but I discovered I did not.)

But more on layers. As I was writing, I knew there would be an uneven romance between commoner Yvette and nobleman Pierre. But I didn't know exactly how it would work out. I also knew that Pierre's sister would be a problem for Yvette, and I knew how she would be in the overarching plot (she's after revenge), but I didn't know how I was going to make it personal for Yvette. I'm a bit closer now--and it will involve Pierre.

I also have this whole jealousy subplot with the stepsisters, and I realized that overcoming jealousy would be the whole theme behind the novella.

So there's four layers - the main plot, the romantic subplot, the revenge subplot, the stepsister subplot. Each plot/subplot equals one major character, so we have Yvette, Pierre, Esmerele and Agnes.

Since the main plot--the extremely sketchy main plot--worked out to 13,000 words, I think that will fill up a 20,000 word novella quite nicely.

In other news, my proposed series title for my fairy tale retellings is now official! The series will be called Accidental Enchantments. I'm thrilled!


  1. That's a lot of sub-plots. I'm not surprised you need to add them in stages. {Smile}

    I like the series name. I like that it has one even more; that promises more to come. {SMILE}

    Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

  2. Thank you, Anne. I was especially thrilled that I was allowed to add a series title to it. I want to finish this second novella within the month.


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