Monday, November 8, 2010

Starting from the Beginning

I'm starting a new book. I have about 4000 words so far, and loving it.

I thought long and hard about it, but I decided to keep the main character from the last book. I put him in a new situation that is set to happen after the previous book. You don't necessarily have to read the other one first, but it may make the character deeper if you do.

Unlike my previous projects, I don't have the ending yet. In previous projects, I always started with some new technology and asked myself "what if?". From that premise I could see the end of the story. To write the story, I simply had to follow the path to get there. I usually added a couple of significant twists and turns, but knew where I would end up.

This time around, I once again have the technology, but what I don't have is the twisty ending. I have no idea where the story is going to take me.

Should be interesting.

I may plot it out a little, but probably not the entire book. I find that too much plotting limits where I can go as the story evolves.

What I have found though is that if the book is a mystery/thriller, it is necessary to drop the right clues at the right time. That requires careful planning.

I do a little of that up front, but most of the real work happens during the editing process.

After going through Donald Maas's class, there are a couple of techniques that I am going to try to incorporate this time.

I am going to try and include an item that has special meaning to one of the main characters, and a place that one of the main characters finds special. This can add considerable depth to your work.

In my last book I used the center of the Golden Gate Bridge as the special place for the protagonists twin brother. I spent most of the time with the special place, so I didn't really utilize a special item.

In my new book, I plan on having both, but I haven't worked out what they will be yet.

I think they will both come out as the story takes shape.

Any body else working on a new book? How far along are you?


  1. I am! Incidentally, it's my first novel. I am about 7,000 words into it, but I do have a fair idea of how the story would end. Plotting and penning the twists and turns makes it such a fun ride, doesn't it?

  2. Hey there,

    Actually, I have a book written which is in need of editing. Problem is I wrote it by hand in a bound diary style book and I am a reluctant transcriber. I also wrote the book years ago so I am afraid I will want to make numerous changes to the story.

    Good luck on yoru new endeavor. I would love to hear how things are going once you get closer.

    I like your blog. I am a creative writer stuck in a technical writers world. Talk about frustrating! Keep up the good work!

    Brian Bedell
    Panna Days, Guinness Nights
    An Alternate Truth/Fiction Blog

  3. That's interesting about the object and the place. I think I have done those things, incidentally, in all of my work. Probably because I have my own personal objects and spaces that are especially important to me and that spreads over into my fiction.

    Good luck with your plotting and twisty ending!

  4. I have a lot of stories bouncing around in my head at the moment. Thank you very much for the tips, I'll definitely remember them as I continue writing.


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