“Going vertical” is a phrase used often in non-fiction and memoir writing. Going vertical means that in a sense, you are going deeper (and sometimes also higher) in perspective and description at certain points in a book. In memoir, this might involve delving much more deeply into a specific happening, or zoom out to look at the very big picture. Going vertical gives the reader a chance to understand the narrator in a much deeper way than just relaying what happened next.
My current work in progress, with a working title “Friends with Wings,” involves a woman who is alone on a planet that is not Earth. Alone, except for intelligent winged creatures, who she can't really understand, but who treat her well. The plot is fairly straightforward, and unlike many of my novels, there aren't many sub-plots, or other things going on. Most of the book is Trina, the protagonist, alone on a planet named Johannes.
And so, I'm going vertical. What is it like for her to live alone on another planet? Does she miss human contact? How does she learn about the other intelligent creatures who share the planet with her?
I tend to write novels that are very plot driven. This novel gives me a chance to delve deeper into a personality, a psyche. I delve into the details of her life, so that an understanding of her, and how she survives emerges. It's a fun challenge.