Whew, I finally finished typing in all my notes! The outline ended at 100 sections, 14,820 words. I have two things I thought of that should be researched — but neither are a big deal and I can add those details after the fact if needed.
Each section has its own page in the outline, a header that details POV, location, etc. and then whatever notes I felt I should make. For example, this is part of the opening section:
POV Character: Lilias (Lily)
Additional Characters: assassin
Location: Nocturna Castle, Great Hall
Approximate Time: Midnight
Someone tries to kill Lily as she makes her nightly walk from the library through the Great Hall. [more details]
Then for each section, I have a line in the “Daysheet” spreadsheet so I can quickly see where I am in the midst of days/scenes. Here’s a short snippet of Arcana’s daysheet, color coded by POV so I can make sure I have a good balance. e.g. I don’t want 100 pages to go by without a certain POV showing up.
|Day||Scene||POV||Total POVs for Character||Scene Title|
|1||3||N||1||In Search of a Book|
|1||6||L||4||Boring Country Dance|
|1||7||A||1||Taunting the Raven|
|1||8||N||2||The Sleeping Guardian|
I didn’t include as much detail in this spreadsheet as I did for the Maya story. I don’t expect to “salvage” as much of Arcana’s first draft, so I don’t need to track revised second draft section vs. brand new section. Everything is going to be brand new, although I will gain a little in the morning by using some revised sections I started a year ago and then abandoned.
I won’t post the whole character sheet online, but this is a sampling of the information I have for each character, in particular, Nevarre, the hero.
Personality and Background
Greatest Strength: Honor. Once his word is given, he keeps it, even if the holder of his oath proves less than trustworthy.
Greatest Weakness: Once his oath is given, he continues the path, even when it’s apparent the path is wrong and dishonorable. He’s been led into dishonor in the past because he refused to back down from his oath.
As a powerful young mage, he was squired with Hugh of Grimsgate along with several others. Hugh was a hard man with shaky political motivations that changed on a dime, but by the time Nevarre was old enough to understand his master had questionable loyalties, he’d already given his own oaths. Hugh fled to Palestine, taking his knights with him. Their families left behind were punished for their crimes and Hugh told them they could never go home or suffer the same fates. Nevarre was devastated.
Dishonored through his leader but sworn to loyalty, Nevarre can do nothing but fight in the Crusades as directed, holding to his word. Events worsened in Palestine. Lured by promises of gold, Hugh joined a secret sect of the Hashshashin (assassins) specializing in magic (dedicated to Anubis) and plotted to take his knights with him.
To join the Hashshashin was to die. Literally. Hugh betrayed his own Knights, took them into a battle where they were slaughtered to the man. In a bloody ceremony of death, they were raised to kill. They gained power from killing, bringing souls to Anubis.
Nevarre didn’t mind killing the guilty or to enforce justice. If Saladin were assassinated, the Crusades would be over, or so he believed. If other enemies to the Church were eliminated, lives would be saved. He was already dead, after all, and could do some small good for his people. However, the assassinations against Saladin failed with vicious retaliation. Hugh abandoned them and secretly returned to England.
Un-dead and trapped in Palestine, Nevarre went mad for a time. He killed his way out of a prison and roamed the land until he came to the Temple of Amun in Karnak. Their Archmagnus claimed he called Nevarre to join the Magi.
In Karnak, Nevarre learned of Great of Magic, the Egyptian Goddess protecting the Sun. Humans failed him, forced him into dishonor, yet he hoped that service to the Goddess would truly give him a higher purpose. He has nothing left. No honor (even broke his oaths to the Hashshashin), no country, only his magic and the dreams of the snake goddess. It is She who sustains his life, now.
He has served Her and the Magi for hundreds of years. To fail is to die. Part of his oath is to put Great of Magic above all, especially other women, so he remains celibate. His heart beats, his body lives, but his soul holds a great debt against it. To fail Her–or love another–is to surrender his soul.
Obviously those above paragraphs are *all* backstory and won’t be directly in the story. However, these details are crucial to who this character is, and the torments through which I should put him in the story. All major and secondary characters got a character sheet, most between 4-6 pages long. I have one more minor secondary character I want to do some work on — I think she’ll provide the comic relief. Hopefully I’ll flesh her out while drafting and then polish her afterwards.
Well, my wrists are killing me and Dark & Early will come very, very early tomorrow. Let MayNoWriMo begin!