I haven’t been checking in a lot with you about The Artist’s Way, the twelve week program that I started this year on the week of October 6. but let’s do that now.
It’s hard to believe that it’s week 8 already! That’s two-thirds of the way through the program. How are you doing? I’ve been great with keeping up on my morning pages, and have made good progress is getting the focus of my day back on writing. As usual, I’ve not been so good about keeping my artist dates, although I have started on a coloring project. This got me to thinking about different tools that writers use to keep track of their books and imaginary worlds. A lot of authors use collages, for example, but I’ve never had much luck with that.
I have a new series brewing in the back of my mind, and that’s got me to thinking about managing the information associated with it. It’s always a challenge with a linked series to keep track of ongoing details. I’ve used a number of different methods – hand-drawn maps, spreadsheets, binders, character forms, etc. – and all of these show their weaknesses once I get past book #6 or so. (Right now, for example, I’m re-reading all of Dragonfire to make sure I don’t miss any of the loose ends.) This new series will be open-ended (instead of finite, which is what I usually do) so I want to make sure I have everything organized from the beginning. I’m setting up the binder (or Bible) and the character interviews, the background details and the story synopsis. Beyond that, virtually all of the books will also be set in the same small town – essentially, the town will be a character. So, I’ve started to build a model of the town. I’m really enjoying this process and the way it’s sparking new ideas for me and for stories in the series. I’ll show you more as we get closer to publication, but I think this is a good example of the kind of fresh thinking that can come out of programs like The Artist’s Way.
How about you? Have you had any revelations or new developments emerge from your journey through The Artist’s Way this time?