Starting a novel is so complex and it takes a lot of work. In order to help yourself and make the process run smoother you need to do the necessary work before you start writing. This is the first part of the Novel Prep-Work Series which will help you jot down all the information you need before the writing stage begins.
- If you prepare everything in the beginning you wont need to figure it out later or put your novel on hold.
- You will take away so much stress and anguish by organising your thoughts beforehand (take it from me).
- You will be able to plot your novel ten times better if you know you characters, your world etc.
- You will know your characters and be able to form them in a believable and three dimensional way.
- Your world will be more real to the reader.
- You will increase your motivation because your story wont seem as hard or complex because you know all the aspects.
Doing all your prep work will come to nothing if you leave it on the computer unseen or in a notebook with messy handwriting. You need to create an encyclopaedia for your world and have everything in one place. Organise it with a folder, with tabs and page dividers, make sure you have page numbers and everything. Here is my first blog post about how to create an encyclopaedia for your WIP, I give you a check list and examples (Click Here). This series will go over in great detail over the next few weeks, how to go about writing the encyclopaedia sections so you don't forget anything.
If you have a fantasy you will definitely need to consider this! A world without religion or multiple religions will be unbelievable, it doesn't need to be a major focus in your novel but it has to be an element in there somehow. You will need to know if yourself in order to give the world some realism.
For me, this was quite hard even though I knew the premise and the religious rituals they practiced. I sat there and did not know where to begin! I didn't really know what made up a religion and the way in religious organisations worked. Therefore, I did some research and complied in this post what you need to ask yourself in order to construct your own religion. This is based upon what other authors have said as well as what I have researched on religions and the way it operates.
- What Is The Premise Of The Belief? What Is the Purpose of The Belief System? Love, Peace etc?
- What Are The Pillars of Belief or Core Beliefs?
- What Does The Religion Say About Good & Evil?
- What Does The Religion Say About Death? Does It Have An AfterLife?
- What Is The Outlook On Life & The Purpose Of Life?
- What Is the Outlook On Morality & Ethics?
- What Are The Significant Religious Myths/Stories The Religion Is Based Upon?
- Are There Any Tangible Objects That Are Religiously Significant Or Representative Of The Religion?
- Is There A Religious Book? What Is It Called & What Does It Say?
- Are There Any Religious Laws or Commandments?
- Is There Any Religious Organisations? What Is It? How Do They Operate?
- Who Are The Historical Figures & Why Are They Significant?
- What Are the Religious Rituals That The Organisation Practice & Ordinary Citizens?
- A List of Religious Days & It's Significants/Origins.
- How Does Religion Play In Everyday Life In Each Country?
Let me know what you think! Do you think these questions are enough? Or, do you have questions to add to this? Write in the comments below and I will add them!
A Little Something Extra!
As I mentioned above, I am building my own encyclopaedia and what I did in order to make the document more appealing is make images to use as page dividers between sections. I want to give you a copy of the image I made for this topic, so that you may download it and use it in your own encyclopaedia or your other WIP notes. All you have to do is copy and paste it into your MS Word Document.
If you want the Page Divider Image for the section where you develop the concept of magic in your WIP click here. While your there check out the list of questions I used to understand the way magic works in my world.
I will be sharing the others with each post in the Novel Prep-Work Series! I hope you like them!