Yesterday was a very special day.
Nearly three years ago, a situation came to my attention that I knew I had to write about. But deadlines were tight (and grateful I am for them) and so there’s not been a break in my schedule where I could focus on this international challenge. Not long enough to write a book. For the past year, I’ve been trying to “steal” enough time from other obligations to write the proposal. No luck there, either. It’s always something, right?
Well, yesterday I got to sit down not only with my idea, but thanks to Sandie Scarpa, my enormously respected assistant, I had the latest research available on hand, ready to read. And thanks to my dear friend, Lorna Tedder, who dropped by for lunch, we brainstormed the plot and worked out a few kinks.
Later in the afternoon, I started building characters and mentally evolving the plot and settings and debating on the voice. The story is really coming together well. The characters are full-blown. The voice had been waffling between objective and subjective. So I decided to write it in first person to keep from making myself nuts.
Why would this make me nuts? Because I’m a subjective writer; that’s what comes naturally, and when I fight it, it is a fight. I constantly have to stop and go back and write in psychic distance. These are works I love, but not my best works.
And since the purpose of this novel is awareness, I don’t want psychic distance. I want the characters to be in your face closeup, so that readers live the message. First person, subjective goes a long way toward accomplishing that goal.
The “Idea” which is a TV blurb on steroids has been done for a couple years and it still captivates me. So that’s good to go. I did workup a one-sentence blurb. That one-sentence holds the focus of the book, and if tempted to stray, will pull me back to topic.
This morning, I’m putting together the character cast, along with all the significant places that are in the novel. It’s a cheat sheet, pure and simple. So that I have handy descriptions of people and their conflicts in a one-look format. Doing the character cast ALWAYS grows the plot, so I’m looking forward to hearing what secrets they have to tell–and which ones they’re keeping!
And then I work on the settings, nailing down areas, specs on them, layout the floor plan for any site of significance. This too always grows the plot–and the characters. Going to be interesting to see where these people live, and how they live.
And then it’s on to a synopisis. Like everyone else, I hate writing synopses, so I’ll worry about that tomorrow, Scarlett. For now, I’m going to focus on the fun stuff. Peeling back the layers of these characters and geting a good look at who they are inside.
Yesterday was a special day. Today is, too!