After several years of reading myself into a stupor, I once again pulled out my notes and bits of papers. This time, though, I actually managed to put together a high-level plot synopsis: Katyra and Jarrod end up pursued by Lord Darkwind and his minions as they search for the starstone. (Note: most of the character names and traits got changed; however, Lord Darkwind, his windriders, and the starstone remained constants throughout.)
I planned the world, made a map of it, and even identified friendly nations, and those that were at war with one another. I identified the main players in my story, and wrote their backgrounds and personality traits. (This was something I had actually learned to do as part of my job as a technical writer. I had taken several classes in the psychology of users, and I had learned how to identify the seven basic technology users and their traits. Turns out these are fairly basic traits for most people–kind and helpful, irritable and grouchy, etc.)
I created an outline of the story, making notes as to what should happen at various points throughout the story. In fact, I spent one whole summer on the lanai typing, plotting, and thoroughly lost in my fantasy world with my characters. I was so deep into my own world that it became almost real. More than once, I would look up from the computer to see myself sitting in Danaria with all its unique creatures and landscapes. I listened to my “friends” bicker and plot, argue and laugh. Their world became my world.
I withdrew so far into myself that I found even more memories that would fit with the storyline that was now writing itself. Before I realized what was happening, I had enough memories and storylines for at least three books and perhaps even four. The words flowed like water from a faucet. My fingers couldn’t keep up with all the information that was erupting from my soul.
I really thought I had something special and I couldn’t wait to share it with the world. And that’s when I met the other Tricia Sullivan.