Thanks for all the well wishes and congrats on my most recent sales. The news couldn't have come at a better time. Really, really cheered me up.
Novel #3 is progressing nicely. I haven't written a word apart from a few notes and ideas I've jotted down in a little notebook (that I bought from Paperchase specially for this novel) but that's a good thing. I MUST NOT rush into this novel. I need it to bubble around in my subconscious until it all falls into place.
For example - This novel needs 4 main characters but I only had 3. I already love those 3 and I just know I'm going to enjoy writing about their trials and tribulations but character 4 was elusive. Throughout the day various alternatives would pop up in my mind. Instead of grabbing them desperately I thought them through by asking various questions:
1) Would this character's crisis work with the timeline?
2) What would her 'stasis' be at the beginning of the novel?
3) What would the crisis be that interrupts her life?
4) How would she grow?
5) Who would be her antagonist?
6) How could I make the conflict become more and more intense throughout the novel?
7) What would her secret be?
8) Will I enjoy writing about this character? Will I be passionate about her?
Every single idea for character 4 I had fell down on at least 2 of the questions so I dismissed them (the most important, in my opinion, being number 8!). I started to feel a bit desperate. I NEED a good character 4 but pushing the issue wouldn't help. I needed to relax and let her come to me.
And this afternoon she did.
Not fully formed. She's still a bit vague and there's a lot of questions I need to ask her before she's definitely going into the novel but the more I think about her the more excited I get.
The book on plotting that I mentioned in my last post (Plot and Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting and Plot That Grips Readers from Start to Finish (Write Great Fiction)) is coming in tremendously useful - asking me to work out the LOCK for each character before I get going.
I've also ordered two books on creating characters. A few weeks (months?) ago I wrote a blog post about how lots of writer's books are rejected by agents and publishers because they don't "warm to" the characters. So what's the secret of a character a reader warms to? I'm hoping I find out when:
I tell you what, I'm SO enjoying this bit of writing a novel - the thinking, the scribbling, the crossing out, the notes, the scraps of plot and the "Oooh yes" moments. In fact, I'm enjoying this so much more than I enjoy actually sitting down and WRITING a novel.
Is it just me or does anyone else feel the same?