Kitty's Writing Toolbox

It's all fiddly details from here on in. This section is mostly geography, travel times, how your character is getting around, but there's a bit of other stuff in as well.

26. Applied Factions
27. Geography
28. Transportation
29. Applied Geography
30. Mapping
26. Continue developing. How does your character fit into these factions? How do they affect the story?

This information goes on your character page. Possibly in its own section, depending on how prominent it is within your story. First list your character's role in the faction, then go through the data points you have on your character already. Connect them to your character's relationship with this faction. Remember that not all data points will have relevance to the character's relationship with or membership in the faction, just because a character is monogamous, for example, does not necessarily mean the League of Pog Collectors cares.

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27. Develop geography. Consider your outline and where your story will be taking place.

Hey, look! It's your outline calling again! You've been working on characters, and you'll go back to them in a second, but first, get that scratch paper. Go over your outline and jot down every different location you have at which a scene takes place. Jot down how far apart these are, roughly, whether they're different locations in the same city or town or different towns in the same country or different planets. Different planes of existence. Go back to your character information and do the same. Group these locations by city, by borough if it's in one city, by country, by however many categories you need to. Write down a minimum five sentence paragraph describing each geographical location you will be working with.

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28. Develop transportation.

Consider your outline and how many times your characters will be traveling between places. In your geography section, beneath each location, write down a sentence or two saying how this location can be accessed. Then go to your outline and write down a phrase to a sentence worth of information explaining how these spatial transitions will be accomplished. Walk, skate, Segway, bus, car, bike, horse, wagon, motorcycle, hoverboard, light-cycle, gryphon, giant eagle, transporter, spaceship, wormhole... Also jot down travel time, because that will help you when organizing your in-novel timeline.

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29. Develop geographical manifestations of socio-economic strata, cultural groups, and racial/species groups.

That sounds technical, but basically what it means is mapping out your locations in terms of what sorts of people live where. Where are your upper class people, where are your slums, and everything in between. If there are clusters of people from one cultural or racial group or another, etc. Sketch out, whether you use a mapping program or a pencil and blank sheet of paper, what goes where. Keep in mind the scope of your novel; if you're dealing with a planetary scale, you can be vague and generalize regions of the planet, making up a stereotype or two. If you're dealing with a city-wide scale, you might as well go into a little bit of detail. These details can come in handy later in dialogue or setting.
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30. Map your characters' travel through the novel, geographically. Check travel times. Look at what you'll have them passing.

Go through scene by scene, and since you're doing it anyway you might as well make your timeline. Highlight, bracket, or otherwise separate the scenes in your outline, day by day. Put, in a different color of text, the travel times between scenes. Then go back to the top of the outline and start again. Add a sentence or two next to the method of transition (bike, helicopter, wormhole) describing in very general terms the location the characters are coming from, and the locations they'll be passing through on the way to where they're going. Even if it's nothing more than a blue column of light.
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