Charles Web Journal

My blog is intended to show how I construct and write a historical novel. It will be a journal of my daily writing activity, as I write a new historical novel.

Location: Evansburg, Alberta, Canada

I am a retired school teacher with a B. Ed in English literature a B.A. in History. After a long career as a teacher of English and history, I now write historical novels based on Canadian history.

Friday, January 21, 2005

I'm new at this

Hi, my name is Charles Goulet and I'm a writer. I write historical novels based on French Canadian history.

I have published three young adult/juvenile historical biographical novels: The Isle of Demons, The Godmother, and Little Snowbird.

As well, I've also published The Divorce a contemporary teen age novel. It's the story of the friendship of two boys who affected by the divorce of one of the boy's parents.

Presently, I'm working on a new novel based on the history of the Province of Alberta, Canada. It's the story of young Daniel Martin who comes to the are in 1874 with the North West Mounted Police. It follows his career from that time until Alberta becomes a province in 1905.

When creating a novel, I follow a very organized system which starts the first day by deciding on the theme of my novel which I reduce to a single sentence.

The second day, I make a list of the characters that will people the novel. I divide this list into Major and Minor characters and to fictious and historical characters.

The third day, I list locations and setting of the story. These, of course, may change as I write., but it is a starting point, and often requires research.

The fourth day I define my characters goals, the goals of the protagonists and the antagonists. These may conflict with my main characters ambitions, and well they must because this creates the obstacles that the hero or heroin must overcome.

The fifth day is spent determining the obstacles to the goals that I developed the day before. They must be realistic but difficult.

The sixth day I plan the conclusion that I expect. Often this will change as the characters and the events may determine how the novel will end.

On the seventh day, I write a length outline of the story which serves as a guide to my writing.
I let the words flow with little thought to grammar, spelling, syntax, etc.

On the eighth day, using my outline, I make chapter headings covering the major events that occur in the story. Here I write a one or two sentence summary of each chapter.

Today was the ninth day and I set up a system of files, six in all: 1. Characters 2. Locations 3. Chapters (one for each heading) 4. Mannerisms 5. Speech patterns 6. General Observations

In the Characters file I will place a character sketch of each character in the book. I will try to make this as complete as possible.

The locations file will have all the details of each location or setting of each scene I plan.

Each chapter will have an outline of it stating the intent, the obstacles, the reversals that take place, and finally the conclusion.

Mannerism will be the unique way in which each character is differentiated just as every individualt has his or her own style.

Speech patterns is related to Mannerisms; just as every character has uniqu ways of acting, so they have unique ways of speaking--pet words, phrases, etc.

The final file, General Observations, is collection of ideas, thoughts, opinions, etc. that might have a bearing on the story.

Now that my files are set up, I will fill them with a collection of ideas and writing to help flesh out the characters, setting, plot, etc.

In this blog, I will try to show how the novel develops--good or bad.

Feel free to make any comments, suggestions, criticisms, etc. that that you want to make.


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