Gloomhaven Novel Progress

Gloomhaven Novel Progress

November 4, 2020 Edit: Basically none of this is true anymore, since the novel is no longer a Gloomhaven novel, but a world of my own creation. But I’d still totally be down for writing a Gloomhaven story one of these days! The new iteration of this story is called Flightless.

Well, I’m about 15% through the draft of my Gloomhaven novel, which is feeling slow, but good. I tend to be a careful writer who creates a relatively clean first draft, so there’s no surprise I’m moving this slowly. (Not to mention I’m distracted by a full-time job and Coronavirus anxiety.)

You can read an excerpt here.

Here’s what that progress means in more concrete terms.

I have a title

This is RARE for me. I struggle with pithy, catchy writing at the best of times, so a novel title is nearly always the last battle I have to wrestle with. But as I’ve continued working out the plot and character arcs of the Gloomhaven novel, the title came to me rather easily.

Stone Breaker.

Especially if you’re a Gloomhaven fan, I’m interested to hear what the title suggests to you. To me, it has multiple meanings… but I don’t want to reveal anything by exploring those here!

I’ve reached the Inciting Incident

Fellow authors will recognize this term from the 3-act plot structure, which I’m using for this novel for simplicity’s sake.

The Inciting Incident is the moment that sweeps the main character out of their life and into the main plot of the novel. It tears them from what they believe and expect and puts them on a new course. This happens after the hook and the setup, including the introduction of the main character, world, setting, etc.

I’m fleshing out the synopsis

It’s generally accepted that there are two types of writers: planners and pantsers. (As in, write-by-the-seat-of-your-pants.) I’ve traditionally been a pantser, but the more I’ve learned about story structure and the craft of writing over the years, the more I’ve veered towards a hybrid plantser approach.

That means that, even though I’ve only drafted 15% of the novel, I have a clear idea of the main conflict, many of the sub-conflicts, the character arcs, and the plot.

And that means I can get to work on a synopsis. Novelists often dread these because it can feel impossible to cram an entire book into a few spoiler-filled pages, but I’m discovering that starting with a synopsis and then editing it as I go is giving me a good roadmap, without locking me into ideas that don’t pan out.

I’ve got a writing timeline

All along, my goal was to write three really great chapters, then send those off as a pitch along with the synopsis to Childres’ team for consideration for licensing.

I’d like to have more than that written, and I have accomplished that (although it’d be ideal if the whole book was done!). But I DO feel solid enough about the beginning that I’m revising it with a fine-tooth comb in preparation to send it over.

There’s no point in sending it right now, though. The Frosthaven Kickstarter is about halfway through, and it’s doing remarkably well, especially given the financial stress caused by the pandemic. As a former fundraiser, I know firsthand how demanding a campaign can be, so I’m well aware that now is NOT the time to pitch a novel. Everyone has their hands full.

But I’ve been watching the announcements with excitement, and my husband and I were fortunate enough to be able to back the campaign right away. It’s given me plenty of ideas, and it’s re-confirmed for me how beloved this game franchise is. I know i’m not alone in my appreciation of the world Childres has built.

So my current timeline is to finish smoothing out the initial chapters, synopsis, and pitch this month and send it over in May. And in the meantime, keep writing! I’m engaged in Camp NaNoWriMo to help me stay on task. Feel free to friend and follow me there.

I’ll keep the blog updated as I make progress!

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