Never going to be a spontaneous, go-with-the-flow type Momma

BlocksAs much as I would love to be a spontaneous, go-with-the flow momma, I have already concluded that won’t be me.

I am the organized, punctual type, and nothing is going to change that. If I have an appointment at 10 am, I absolutely hate to be late to it. Yes, I know sometimes things beyond my control happen such as a traffic accident blocking the road but even this drives me crazy. I have learned to repeat to myself that it will be okay and that I can’t control everything as I stew in the slow-moving traffic. I was once late to my daughter’s visit to the pediatrician by over an hour and a half because of traffic. The trip usually takes only 20 minutes.

Being punctual is part of me and even having kids (who are sometime difficult and unpredictable) has not changed this. I will never be fine with being late. I have already noticed that Jase is the same way. He gets concerned when he thinks we are going to be late for school though he has never been tardy or even close to being tardy.

This goes beyond being punctual. I am a planner. You can ask any of my friends, and they will certainly agree. Every weekday in the summer, I have something planned to keep my kids busy. We go to the pool, bowling, the movies, indoor play places, camps and more. I typically plan out a whole month at a time and then email people with my weekly plans, so they can join us if they want.  I have friends who even bug me if I am late with an email. They know that I always have something going on. I am just not the kind who wakes up and waits to see what the day brings. If I did that, we would spend too many days just sitting around trying to agree on something to do.

Now that isn’t to say I have to plan everything. I can be flexible. My friend called up one day and suggested taking our kids for an afternoon at Six Flag Fiesta Texas amusement park. We weren’t busy, so we loaded everyone up and set off. Of course, neither of us knew the highway was closed and after sitting in traffic for an hour, we decided just to return home and have my kids play over at her house.

When we went to Disney World last year, I spent time planning out which park we would start our day at and I planned a few special meals. But in an effort to do what the kids wanted, I didn’t have any type of agenda – I am not that rigid. I wanted them to enjoy the trip, and we pretty much did what they wanted to do and went where they wanted to go most of the trip.

So would I ever go somewhere with no plan? Or throw things in a suitcase and jump in the car for a weekend away with no destination planned? Nope. That just isn’t me. But that doesn’t mean we won’t stop at a carnival in a parking lot or take a boat tour just because it isn’t on my to-do list.

Starting my next novel…

Well Destiny, the conclusion on my The Elemental trilogy, was released last week. Now it is time to start working on a whole new novel. Since I have been working on the trilogy for the past few years, it seems like forever since I had to start a novel from scratch.

Since I write fantasy, starting a new novel is harder than just deciding the plot line and building characters, I have a whole world to create. Now while that is fun and exciting, it is a lot of work to make sure you develop a believable setting for the story.

But before I can even think of building the world or developing the characters, I need to work on the plot. I need a compelling story with a well-defined conflict. I have to know where the story is going in general so I can then create the characters through which the story will be told.

I do not outline my novels before I begin writing them. (See plotter vs pantser post) I merely have an overview of what the story is about. And luckily for me, I have a story in mind. Now I just need to flush out some issues and make sure it is a compelling story.

wizardOnce that is done, it will be time to develop the characters. This can be fun. You get to explore their backgrounds and discover their flaws as well as their strengths. Over the next few days (or perhaps weeks since holiday obligations are going to slow me down) I will need to develop histories, descriptions, and motivations for all my characters. It is a chance to get to know them which will result in making them more vivid when I begin writing.

dragonAnd while writing fantasy, you don’t just work with humans as characters but can also include dragons, fairies, telepathic cats, or creatures never seen before.

After that – though this step is usually already started by working on the plot and characters – it will be time for one of my favorite things – creating a whole new world. You get to design kingdoms and political systems as well as define how magic will be used and what limits there are to it. And yes, you do need to add limits or consequences to your use of magic so that it is believable and can add to the conflict of the story rather than be the supreme answer to all problems.

As part of my world building, I will also create a map of my world so that I can refer to it as I am writing. This step is quite useful in knowing where your characters are, and how long it will take them to get to other locations. Readers might catch that it took two weeks to reach the seaside village but only two days to return home. Knowing where your characters are and what type of environment they are in will help create that believable world.

So this week I began working on my next novel (tentatively called Alexandria). It will be filled with fairies and dragons and magic. So while you are waiting for my next book, take time to enjoy The Elemental trilogy. Because if you love magic and dragons (and possibly telepathic cats), then I am sure you will love this series.