(Got lots to do with a confernce and ISIG coming up, so it's nice to have friends with great advice...)
This is courtesy of my friend and writer Erik Van Asch, answering another person's question about worldbuilding and when to end a scene (or a book):
I'm starting a new fantasy writing project. I wanted to ensure I have
the depth and breadth to have a setting and history that can be
revealed over several books or can drive plotlines over several
books. Thus comes the world-building.
I stumbled upon some world-building exercises in last year's National
Novel Writing Month forums and am currently using it to organize my
You can find the exercises here:
I use an excel spreadsheet and each tab is a different day.
Going back to your first question, I find it useful to end in the
middle of some action. Typically I know what is to come next, so
picking up the story at a later date becomes easier for me.
To answer your second question, what I'm hearing is that you have
three story threads going on and not sure how to bring it all
together. Correct? You may consider checking your local library
system for "The Marshall Plan of Novel Writing" by Evan Marshall. One
of the few books that I've read that actually tackles multiple story
lines and subplots. His "templates" may be all you need to re-arrange
your storylines so the characters and plot begin to merge into one.
To your other questions about feedback from others. . .everything
I've read says "finish the first draft!" You don't need people
critiqing your work till you've finished the story. Many of us want
validation during the process but what I've found in most cases is I
stop my forward momentum to try go back over previous chapters and
address said feedback.
Just write the first draft!
Then grab a book on editing your fiction such as "The Complete Guide
to Editing Your Fiction" by Michael Seidman. Once you've done your
second or third revision of the story then worry about finding a
local fiction writer's group or online writer's group to provide
So. . .with all that said. . .spend the next several weeks working
through your world-building then get yourself ready to write the next
50,000 words of your story at warp speed on November 1st when the
next NANoWrMo starts (http://www.nanowrimo.org/)
Hope to see you there.