Although I am still editing and preparing for publication (soon, soon, I hope, on kdp) A New ZooCatron, my latest cats-from-outer-space novella, the time has come for serious work on my final Dragonwolder/Malevir novel. In the upcoming months, I will be fleshing out some new characters, settings, and the final confrontation between my star dragon, Draako, the spirit of the Mystic Scintilla, and the Malevir himself.
Part of my prep includes story-boarding and character sketches. Because my mind grasps visual information more readily than abstractions–hence my love of cartooning–I spend a lot of time sketching and playing around with images of my characters and their settings. Once I feel I know them well enough, I amplify the images with language.
In my last novel, Where Dragons Follow: Return of the Malevir, I introduced strange beasts, Uprooters, who lived mostly underground. I drew many versions of them before choosing one to represent the character. At that point, although the creatures were smelly, hulking, and dangerous, I felt some sympathy for them and the final sketch conveyed my feelings, I think. The sympathy came from my imagining that these Uprooters were good guys trapped in monstrous bodies with monstrous ungovernable temperaments.
As I outline Book Three, I will devote many hours to drawing and dreaming about the characters I know who will experience life-altering changes. I also will feel a bit like Dr. Frankenstein as I bring to life new characters and weave their stories into those of my dragons, elves, humans, giants, and others already established (but bound to evolve) in past work.
Drawing on my imagination (pun intended), I’m looking forward to the process. Pictured in the header and below are pages from my notebook and an earlier story board that’s merely pre- first draft-ish.