Over lunch, I start working out some new introductions, based a little on the crits and a little on what I’ve worked out for the sequel. Halfway through this, I draw a map. It doesn’t fit on the page. I’m not big on maps for my own work, mainly because the map of Boston sufficed for the Evie books, and my short stories rarely need that reference. Plus, there’s a part of me that resists sticking a map at the front of the novel. (Even though I do sometimes re-read the Atlas of Middle-Earth.) But a major critique that came through was the lack of a clear sense of who’s where and what this means. The map probably won’t make it into the book, but I need one for myself.
Half a page turns into a full-page map, which still doesn’t fit. It’s also gathering notes such as “this border was practically walled off for ~150 years to avoid devastation” and “road cuts through mountains; monasteries on either side.” Neither is relevant to the novel, but both act as a reminder of the history of the world.
Work out more notes in the evening — how many characters can I kill off early? And would that mess things up for later? And how can I add another action scene? — then succumb to Portal 2. I’ve been assured that I am an excellent test subject.