AL Project ~ The Math

I’ve just spent four days working birth, death, and time period math. Not fun. Especially when I despise math!

Word to the wise. When setting up a story, set out all the time frames and player’s lives before you begin… or at least shortly after you begin. I have found this many times with my writing. When I was a beginning writer, I just wrote characters… I knew who they were and where they were going and a little about where they came from.  Unfortunately, if your character becomes the star of an unexpected series, you will need to have their back stories well in hand.

For Night’s Knights, this presented a problem when I was recently asked how a certain character, Sandro, became a vampire and what his maker was like. You see, I thought I was smart. I mapped out the vampire family tree before I finished the book. I had names and thought a little about their backgrounds. What I didn’t think about was time periods, what was happening in the world at the time and how a 4th generation vampire came from the spawn of Satan even though that spawn of Satan had been in human form while that 4th generation vampire was still a mortal. Yeah… figure THAT one out!

Boy, did that one take awhile to figure out. Sure, it made for an excellent plot twist, but trying to retrace your steps and make all the dots connect sucks!

I recently ran into this same problem with the AL project. Without giving too much away, this story takes place in 1912, briefly in 1978, and in 2011 (or present day). When I began the tale, I just figured the magic in the tale would take care of itself, but recently I’ve realized, it doesn’t. And backtracking ain’t fun guys and gals. So do your math first… sketch your characters out (even if you have them in your head), and know when they were born, how old they are, when they died, and who their parents were before you cement your tale. Especially if it’s a sort of multiple time period piece… otherwise you’ll spend four days working out the math and may realize your dates and characters are off! Needless to say…. changes must be made!

Maybe one day I will share my genius charrie book format with you. o.o

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