I was really inspired by the quest materials, particularly the Gelfling clans. I printed out the pdf and underlined the bits of info I thought would make a great story. Using that and the map, I had a rough idea of what sort of quest I wanted my characters to undertake. Figuring out the characters was almost too easy—the hard part was figuring out who to make my POV characters, and how many was too many.
I do have a vague outline plotted out, like, I know what the characters are going to do, where they’re going, and ultimately how the story is going to end, but I don’t know details yet. I think that helps me stay on task without sucking all the fun out of it. And sometimes it helps me get the first idea out, think about it for a while, only to reject it for something better. So loose plotting is very important to my writing process.
To keep things tight, I plan out the next few chapters I’ll be writing using scene goals. What does each scene accomplish? What do I need to set up in another scene to make this scene work? Who needs to be involved? And all the while I’m making certain that my pov characters NEED something. Their motivation doesn’t necessarily have to make sense or even be rational, but that NEED has to be there.
The only problem is, I think I may have too many pov characters. I have five young Gelfling and I’ve had to write two scenes from skekTek’s pov. I know I’ll be using at least one other Skeksis, but I don’t want to add any other Gelfling unless I absolutely have to. I think six might be pushing it if I have Skeksis also. Other than that, I plot by hand in a notebook, read everything I can get my hands on, and play around with maps. That’s basically my writing process for anything, although I typically stick to 2 or fewer povs, so this is a first for me!