Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Trails and Rails

I am starting a new romantic western series, Rails and Trails.

I have done more research in the early days of Wyoming from the beginning of the 1860s through the end of the 1870s than I ever thought I would want to. At first, my plan was to focus on Wyoming. But, since the theme is based on the Union Pacific Railroad being built and then later traveling through the territory, I realized it would make more sense (and not be as forced) if I also focus on the neighboring states of Nebraska and Dakota (there was no north and south in the Dakotas at the time). research has expanded to include those two states for that time period.

I have a timeline in spreadsheet format that amazes even me. Thank goodness for Excel. I'm glad it is digital, because it would probably take a small forest worth of paper to print it all out. If I had this on 3" x 5" index cards tacked to a bulletin board like I used to organize writing projects, I would need enough boards for two walls.

My main spreadsheet includes the time periods for all three novels plus the decades leading up to the first novel and a few key events after the third one. Then I have a separate timeline page specific to each novel pulled from the information from the master timeline. I have columns of straight history and columns for what is happening with my characters and the plots.

Tell you what I don't like about this series already. I am so captivated with the era that I cannot settle on where to start. I actually first came up with the idea and characters for book 2. Then I thought SERIES! I quickly thought up the idea for book 3. Then, doing the research, I developed a desire to write a novel to cover the time period I have now decided on for book 1. But, the more I study, the more I want to write a novel for the time BEFORE book 1.

No, I've decided, I need to contain my enthusiasm and start with these three.

Last Friday I wrote my first chapter for Book 1, tentatively titled Nebraska Sunrise -- 5,226 words. A good start.

No comments:

Post a Comment