Mapping Out Your Story!

Emilia,

I’m struggling to write my first book. I’m about half-way through and still can’t figure out where I wants it to end and if I will make it a series or not. Do you have any advice for trying to figure this out?

— The Struggle is Real

Dear Struggler is Real,

Yes! I have run into this myself. Here’s what I did to try and figure out where I want An Emerald in the Sand to go. I took a blank sheet of printer paper and I first drew out a map of the characters and their relationships. Where did they intersect, where did they travel to, who were they? Who was good and who was bad? If I knew where I wanted them to go in the story, I filled that in too. Like for instance, I knew I wanted some tension between my characters Merrick and Celia, but I also knew they were an item. But what about his brother Avery? And what about Celia’s journey besides the romantic journey? These I knew less of but I knew that I wanted her to get to Ala Qitar and have conflict there so I included that. Each piece I added led me to another thing I knew, then another. When I finally finished I knew exactly the parts of the story that I was still unclear about, and I had a visual graph/map showing me the different people that could interact and advance the story. It really helped me to see the story in a different way than to just read the chapters again and again. It especially helped me seeing the characters from different parts of my story who were “bad” that I could bring together for more turmoil that I felt I was lacking. Here’s what my graph looks like.

emeraldinthesandmap

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