Having spent some time lost in a bit of a whirl of confusion, I’ve finally imposed some order on my life.
It’s strange having always been such an ordered person at work it’s taken me this long to get to grips with my novel’s structure. I think, from the beginning, my novel was the place I could escape to, a place that could expand to accommodate my every whim – being fantasy there are less barriers than perhaps in other genres. After the first deluge of words had tumbled out of my mind and onto the page my focus switched to ensuring the writing itself was of good quality; it took many rewrites and culls for me to move closer to achieving this aim. Subsequent rewrites and even more culls have pulled together chapters and narrative themes, but to me they feel like something tacked together, rather than a flowing whole.
I have finally broken through my own strange resistance, (I call it strange because I’ve been aware of it and have observed it almost impassively for some time). I’ve striped my novel down into themes, chapter lists and character outlines and stuck them up on my wall. (Though looking at the picture I still feel a little hint of madness in the number of pieces of paper there!) I am probably still searching for a ‘way’ that works, but I’m hoping as I progress pages will be removed from the wall, as the problems with the novel are resolved.
I’d love to hear your strange, mad or sane methods for structuring your novel.