February has been a month of travel, love and much writing. It has also been a month of pretty flowers, a handmade monster called Grindle and the excitement of a brand new project.
This month I also started work on a children’s book I am writing and illustrating. A quest book about a Deergirl in search of her soul before she fades from imagination forever. Intrigued? You should be because it is going to be awesome.
So far this month, I have been mapping out the structure, exploring the characters and drawing. And I have utterly fallen in love with my creations. This is the kind of project that I could easily get lost in and be happily missing for quite some time.
I love world building – be it stories or games and the world of Deergirl and her Dreamling friends is one of the most creative and fun worlds I have ever had the pleasure of creating.
I am setting myself a bit of a challenge with this book. I am aiming to get my first draft written by the end of March. Which means, I am basically trying to write a book in a month!
Definitely, as long as I stick to my writing schedule and don’t punk out!
A Head Start
I take the architect route when it comes to planning my books. Not only do I sit down and work out the structure. I timeline it, and then I use index cards, which I cover the walls with, to plot out each step.
Now, even though I do like to plan everything – I do always leave some room to manoeuvre and allow for off the cuff changes and moments of experiment.
I have found that no matter how much you plan, sometimes your brain likes to go off track and pursue a wilder route that is off (sometimes way off) the beaten track. And that is more than ok. This is sometimes where it gets really exciting – Though to be honest, I generally find the whole experience of building something new super exciting.
And this is the part (the structure and planning) that I have finished already (hence the head start). Now, I just need to get writing!
So there you go. This is the start of a new adventure.
Get ready to meet Deergirl. She can’t wait to meet all of you!
In the upcoming weeks, I will be writing more about my process and how I am tackling this book. If you want to know more come and say hi to me on Twitter (@susiemcbeth). And if you want to see more of Deergirl and her friends, check out my Instagram.