As promised in my post last week I will be writing a post every week about the research and planning behind each chapter of The Monk’s Curse which is to be released imminently. This week, I shall be discussing Chapter One. Now, this is going to be a bit difficult I think, to discuss the chapter without giving much spoiler content. But, I shall try my best. So, without further delay…
…behind Chapter One
Chapter One was the chapter that required the least amount of research or effort to write. In fact, it is totally devoid of the content that will come to characterise the rest of the novel. It has no history. It has no travel. All it has is the vital elements that place my novel in its genre. I shall not speak to these elements.
Rather, I will discuss the writing process of Chapter One.
Writing Chapter One
The process of writing this chapter came quite easily for, at the time, I still did not have any idea of what the novel would entail. To put it simply, I am a seat of the pants writer. This means that I do not plan my writing. I simply sit down and write.
Of course, with the amount of detail behind The Monk’s Curse, I had to plan a bit. But, in the beginning, I had not planned. It simply began as a boy being taken somewhere. In my mind I envisioned that he was being taken to a special school or facility. I even played around with the idea of making it all a fantasy somehow.
Thinking about it, I quickly abandoned this idea. As I thought about it more and more, the chapter came to be a preface of much violence and historical intrigue to come. In fact, at the time, the prologue I had written was envisioned as a totally separate novel. But eventually, realising how much the idea in my head regarding this first chapter and its following chapters related to the prologue, I began to see that the prologue would be a perfect preface to The Monk’s Curse.
And thus, in merging this first chapter and the prologue, The Monk’s Curse was born. That is when the process of writing changed from seat of the pants to intense planning. I used Randy Ingermanson’s infamous Snowflake method which took a story from a single sentence idea to a full mapping out of each chapter.
But, as always, I was led by my characters and not by my plans. And so, the rest of the novel became much like Chapter One. Unplanned, but exciting.
And that is the brief story behind Chapter One. Not an exciting one, that is, until it is read…