A character spider

writing aid character spider

Spoiler alert
This character spider contains facts about characters in my second novel The Act of Falling that don’t appear in the text. If you know anything about personality disorders you would probably work them out anyway, but just thought I’d mention that.

The size of the circle
My focus is on Emily Hamton, therefore she takes centre stage in this diagram. However, the novel is written from the POV of Richard. The size of each circle is roughly the prominence of a character in the text. There are three circle sizes, therefore primary, secondary and bit part players.

My nerdy approach to plot and character
I usually have a broad idea of the plot and theme of the novel – although I’m personally not so concerned with the theme as it seems a bit like lecturing to your readers.

The plot develops intricacies as I write. I keep that under control in another way, which I will post here soon. The characters also develop and this graphic helps me to keep the salient points of their relationships and history consistent.

Hannah’s Island – location

A work in progress. A post apocalyptic novel of sorts, but set in somewhere between a dystopian and utopian world.

map of Hannah's Island

The location for this novel is significant. I wanted to set it on an island, an enclosed, somewhat isolated environment. I also realised that I needed some sort of conflict or I wouldn’t have a story to tell.

This stumped me for a week or so, but one day I had one of those lightbulb moments and decided that an unexpected visitor would upset the apple cart in an otherwise idyllic but basic, rural, closed community. I knew almost instantly how the newcomer would affect lives of those already there – but why has the visitor come?

While I was thinking about this I decided to draw a map of Hannah’s Island. I needed to know where everyone was going to live and their relative positions. I also researched how much land a small population would require for real self sufficiency. It will make life easier to have this reference to hand while writing.

Hannah’s Island – disaster strikes

A work in progress. A post apocalyptic novel of sorts, but set in somewhere between a dystopian and utopian world.

A wave breaking over a road

The first disaster I envisaged for this novel is rising sea levels (it didn’t take much imagining). I had come across a map of how various coastlines, and indeed whole countries, would change if the worst case scenario happened. Transport, communication, shipping (ports would have to be relocated), cities (many are on the coast) would all be lost. Life would change slowly and we would adapt. But our infrastructure has taken hundreds of years to evolve and the land masses would be different – and the available material resources.

With so much infrastructure beneath the sea would salvaging of metals become a potential income stream for an individual?
What happens when food has to be more locally sourced?
What happens if other disasters disrupt the rebuilding process?