So I’m back to blogging after having taken an even longer break from this place than my previous one. What have I been up to? I’m glad you asked, imaginary person! In my last blog I wrote a bit about coming up with ideas for a third novel; not the follow-up to
Legacy of Memory (2014 note: this became A Memory in the Black), but rather an entirely unconnected stand-alone with something of a different tone than what I’ve written for novels before. As I said, working with an entirely blank slate is both freeing and frustrating. As I write this, I’m sitting in a Barnes & Noble café having just finished the step-sheet for what I hope to be a darned amusing book.
In case you’re wondering, the step-sheet is basically a rough outline of the scenes (or at least the general happenings) of the plot and character development. Before I did that, I had to come up with the whole freaking premise of the setting (which wasn’t TOO hard, as it’s actually set in the present day with one liiiiittle difference–and no, I’m not telling what that is yet), at least a general idea of what the major characters are like (I’m fairly sure about most of the details now on those, but they still need the breath of life that only actually writing the book will give, I think), and the whole darned premise of the story. The step-sheet helps me to make sure all the Chekhov’s guns are in place, the exposition is portioned out properly (without being overwhelming), and helps me to see where possible problems are–or at least realize what sort of details I still need to come up with.
This particular novel is going to be…somewhat less serious than my previous ones. I suppose, given the stakes involved, it may be considered “epic,” but it’s my plan to thumb my nose at such things and have little or no respect for my own work. …If that makes sense. Actually, it doesn’t, but oh well. A better way of putting it is that this novel is not going to be taking itself seriously–at least that’s the plan. It won’t be entirely comedy, either. If anyone’s read my short story “Playing With Hubris” or maybe even “Finding Victor,” that would be something akin to the mix of humor that I’m going for. But I suppose I’ll know more once I start the actual writing and find the right voice.
Choosing just HOW to start the book is giving me some trouble, though. I’ve got two different options, and while I think one might be a better hook plot-wise, it doesn’t involve any of the main characters. I need to talk over my ideas with some folks and see what they think, because right now I’m rather torn.
It’s my goal to write this one a LOT faster than the previous two, which will take a bit of discipline on my part. I suppose that’s part of why I’m really taking care to line up all of my ducks at the moment so once the actual writing starts, I know the characters, I know the details of the setting and everyone’s agenda…and I can just shove everyone into the arena and let them do their thing.
…And if anyone gets out of hand, I’ll zap ’em with a lightning bolt.