SO, HOW DO I IGNORE THE NOISE?
This past week has been a flurry of awards, books deals, and blog tours. Honestly, it’s all very distracting. So, how do I ignore the noise?
Well, yesterday, I printed out the existing headers of another novel I’m writing. This novel will be the sequel to The Lesser Witness, which just came out in June.
THE LESSER WITNESS: AN APOCALYPTIC THRILLER “THE LESSER WITNESS” is a remarkable read filled with riveting suspense that will keep you on your seat from start to finish. This is simply the must read book of the summer." - Sun-Sentinel In the not too distant future, a bolide ignites an onset of earthquakes marking utter ruin on Earth. especially on one small island where Croy Justice lives. With a gang of virulent boys trailing her, Croy must outwit them or risk a gruesome death at their hands. Will she survive these end times? Or, will she be snapped up into satan’s grip? LAST WITNESS is a story about one young woman’s fight against evil.
This follow-up has the working title, THE FALSE WITNESS and tracks the perilous journey of Croy Justice through a world turned inside-out by the apocalyptic event that happens in Book One.
I’m currently at the 26,000 word mark and have needed to stop and review my progress. With only the beginning written, I feel like jumping to the end so that I understand the outcome, to see how my characters either make it out alive or not. As for the middle and the climax, I have a vague understanding of the main major conflict but I first want to write the end. What I’m talking about here is plotting. Because I’ve concentrated mostly on plotting to this point, when I write the end, the story will read thin at first—just a summary of action and resolution for the over-arcing story.
Which brings me to the next phase of my work, writing for characterization. To me, this is the most intriguing part of writing—analyzing each character, what motivates them, digging into their fatal flaws, understanding their fears and longings. Because writing my characters helps tell the front story even when I’m interjecting backstory. I don’t want this novel to read thin, I want readers to be able to sink their teeth into each person acting in each capacity of this tale. I know that when I read a novel, I want to understand the character first letting their special decisions guide them into action, conflict and resolution, and not the other way around. What I mean here is letting action and conflict control the character. Because, when we write characters this way, those characters could be anyone. I want to write what moves my character, write instances important to her alone. Answer questions like: Why has she ended up in this predicament in the first place? My point is this, what makes this story special because of Croy? Why is she integral to this story? Conversely, why is the story integral to Croy? In other words, why is Croy so important to this story that I had to write it? The answer might be as simple as: Because without Croy there is no story. Or as complex as: Croy will be the only person to save the soul of mankind. That’s pretty heavy. So, why can’t it be both? Aha! Well, it can.
Big questions like this should act like a virtual Ouija board to each story we write. Questions like these guide us every step of the way to the point we write “The End” to our novel. These questions should considered BEFORE we write anything in fiction.
After I write this note to you, I’ll be heading over to my writing studio and jumping into the book. I hope to have no fewer than 6,000 words written by the end of this week. So, how do I ignore the noise? Writing. Every single time.
I’ll fill you in on my progress next week. That way I can be accountable to you for my successes and failure.
Until then, see you on the flip-flop.