The Pantser Plots: Part 4. Twas the night before NaNoWriMo… Introducing my project #BeautifulBooks

Part 4: Introducing my plan and project:

The night before NaNoWriMo is here, and whilst everyone else is posting about Halloween, it’s time for me to introduce my project.

Warning, contains spoilers: The end of BBC’s Merlin. 

Earlier in October I discovered Beautiful People, a monthly link up hosted by Cait @PaperFury and Sky @FurtherUpandFurther. Each month they post 10 questions to answer about your characters. This month the focus is on NaNoWriMo. What better way to introduce my project?

Click for details and other participants posts!

First, the questions, and then I’ll talk about my plan:

What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?

I’ve had the idea for this novel since BBC’s Merlin broke my heart at the end of series 5. Spoilers: After all Merlin’s effort, Arthur died in his arms. After Arthur died, Merlin was told his king would return one day. The last scene shows Merlin in a modern setting, waiting for Arthur.

This is where my story comes in. It’s not a direct continuation, but it’s based on the idea that after Mordred killed Arthur at Camlann, Merlin lived on as an immortal waiting for his king. 

Describe what your novel is about!

Merlin waits years for Arthur to return, never ageing and immortal. He has lots of experiences, but loses faith when he fails to save a young girl during the witch trials. My story begins when Merlin meets a reincarnated version of Arthur.

What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!

I’m a fantasy writer at heart, so although my world is based on the real world, it’s not realistic. Earth is a gorgeous wasteland with long forgotten towns, lakes and secret caves:

Merlin locations Earth.png
Images of my world from Pinterest. Project board here: Merlin, Arthurian legend reboot.

I also have advanced cities with very little greenery. There are dragons, magic, swords and kingdoms. Its all very fantasy, with a twist of sci-fi and adventure!

Introduce us to each of your characters!

Merlin: Immortal wizard. Out of practice with magic. Honest. Determined. Reckless. Lived so long he believes the rules don’t apply to him.

Arthur: Reincarnated king who doesn’t remember a thing. A great fighter but has few other skills. Values order and strength. His life becomes chaotic when he meets Merlin.

Mordred, Morgan le Faye, and the Lady of the Lake feature too. I also have a female Lancelot. 

How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)

Normally I’m a pantser. This time I’m trying planning. I used worksheets from Sarina Langer’s site, and planned characters, plot and world. It was hard to tie my Pantser up at first, but she’s been assured she can run riot during NaNo! I’ve also stocked up on healthy snacks.

What are you most looking forward to about this novel?

This is going to sound silly, but closure. When something I love ends the way Merlin did, it leaves a hole in my heart. I fan girl obsessively over the things I like. Writing this novel will be my way of saying ‘Merlin and Arthur reunite one day and have more adventures together.’ Their relationship will be the main focus of this book, and I can finally move on.

List 3 things about your novel’s setting.

It’s a vast world full of kingdoms and colonies.

The suspected site of Camelot, Tintagel, makes an appearance.

Earth is not as we know it.

Merlin locations Albion.png
The more advanced cities of my world!

What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?

To prevent the destruction of the Albion Alliance. The supporters of the destruction get in the way, as well as supporters of the alliance who want to prevent its destruction by force. The details are still a little hazy!

How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?

Arthur’s adventures with Merlin are a journey in self discovery. He becomes braver, stronger, and more sure of himself. Merlin learns that his power comes from within.

What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?

Friendship, family and love: The camaraderie between Arthur and his friends is strong, his love for his mother is key to his decisions, and his relationship with Merlin stands the test of time. I want readers to believe in the relationships I create and feel happy with the conclusion!

Growth: Arthur is a young man on a journey of self discovery. My story is about finding yourself and who you want to be, who you can be, and who you should be.

My plan:

Characters: I know roughly who the main ones are and which side they’re on!

World building: I’ve thought about locations. Act 2’s setting is more developed than Act 1’s.

Word counts: I made a pacemaker plan to estimate how many words I should write each day:

pacemaker plan
Snapshot of my schedule! Those large word counts are intimidating…

3 days are crazy, 3 days are easy, and Saturday has nothing. I don’t believe in writing every day: You should write around your circumstances. On Sunday’s I write short stories so there’s less time for NaNo. Saturday is the only day me and my partner get free, so no writing!

Plotting: I wrote a list of 4 or 5 scenes for each chapter. I’ve done this for 15 chapters. 3500-4000 words per chapter should cover me for NaNoWriMo’s 50k. If I finish those 15 chapters I’ll be able to carry on. I know what happens next even if it’s more loosely planned.

After a great post I read as part of #AuthorToolboxBlogHop, I dug out my old white board:

I have most of my plot outlined, but spoilers! Each character has a different colour post it!

My plan is ready enough for NaNoWriMo. Are you? Beautiful Books is open to anyone. I’d be interested to see what my fellow writers are writing!

Tomorrow I’ll start NaNoWriMo. I’ll be around for word sprints because I write more that way! To all those participating, good luck, and I’ll check in with my progress soon!


Share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s