A bit about process… and a big reveal!
The creative process is organized chaos. I learned two books ago (“Two books ago? But I only see one book authored by you for sale?” Exactly. Read on.)
I learned two books ago that just sitting at a keyboard and typing willy nilly with a book idea in mind is a bad idea. This is how you end up with loose ends and unstable character arcs. It’s also all too easy to miss out on critical literary devices like pinch points.
These days I start with a very loose and broad outline- and step one is to write a super brief synopsis. I then move to a chapter by chapter outline. I’m not doing anything fancy or too involved. I simply break down the most basic point of the chapter with a few sentences, and I identify when one of the 7 point structure elements is introduced. I also write up a brief bio for each character, and an accompanying timeline (I tend to lose dates and if I didn’t do this I might end up with a woman getting married who references her birth date some seven years before )
So with this kind of… skeleton… in place, I can then fill the rest in and create the story. Does this inhibit surprises? Not at all!
As I’m sussing (fun fact- autocorrect hates this word) out the actual story sometimes something wonderful happens. A stranger shows up. One I haven’t preplanned or expected, who is going to change some of that carefully planned outline.
“Surprise! Let me introduce myself…”
In my current work-in-progress, this happened just yesterday. Woah! Never saw HIM coming!
And now for the reveal- I’m excited to share my next title with you all.
I’m hoping to finish my first draft in the next few months, and then there will be the long editing and rewriting and querying process, publication decisions, etc etc etc. Nothing about this is going to be quick, but I think readers are going to really love these characters- although maybe not so much our new stranger. Him, well, he’s not such a nice guy.