10 October, 2015

Plotting Phase Complete

I've plotted out my next novel, Forget Me Not. It's about a brother and sister struggling to survive in a world that's torn itself apart. It's not exactly post-apocalypse. We wouldn't need an apocalypse. I forget who it was who said this before me, so I'll just go ahead and say it. Our society has no implicit morality. You can argue that's fine, or even a good thing, but it remains true that any such society is two losses away from tearing itself apart: food and shelter.

So that's my book, in extremely brief form. Ideas are simple, and cheap. The rest is nuance. So if the idea sounds crap to you, well... I can only hope, like, really hope, you read it anyway, because the book might surprise you and frankly I need an audience. Buy my book!

What's hard is, I spent so long writing in first person close POV for Paint the Angels Black that I'm struggling finding an authorial voice for this next book. It takes a while to get into the characters, know what they sound like, what it feels like to be them--various things you need to know/feel to write good prose, in my opinion.

First drafts are sometimes quite "bitty":

This happened.  Then this happened.  Then this other thing.

Once you get into the character, that wanes, and nuance starts coming out. I find the best thing to do is ask myself what my main character's immediate desire is in the scene. What they feel deep down, how they define themselves and the way they look at life, I've always found very easy and natural to keep hold of. I'd even argue that's what made me want to write in the first place. But what the character wants in a given scene, on the small scale, is another matter. Holding onto that is the only thing that makes the words bash their way out. I just hope it doesn't always feel like bashing! What was that word again...? Flow. Yeah, that's the word. And you can't force things to flow. You have to let that happen. So why does the fact I know that have no bearing on my day?

Flow, you bastard!

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