It has been a long time since I completed my research trip last summer and at last I’ve carved out enough time and motivation to start the real work of writing. I’ve been motivated by the growing body of praise for my first serious novel ‘The Appearance of Truth’ and readers starting to ask when this one will be complete. It’s going to take a while, but I’m trying to get a first draft complete by the summer. I’m just over 7,000 words in so far and adding to it daily.
I had a great example yesterday of characters still being able to surprise you. I’ve completed character questionnaires and think I know the cast pretty well. Then out of the blue it turned out the father of one of them wasn’t who they thought it was. I was as surprised as they were, which may sound an odd thing to say, but once your characters take control of the story you sometimes have to follow where they lead.
My chapter plan for chapter 2 gave me a rough guide for where things were going, but as it turned out, much of that will now occur in chapter 3. Instead, chapter 2 covers an important incident which will give the reader an echo of key events later in the book and on which the whole premise of the book hinges.
I shall probably need a box of tissues on standby this afternoon when I write as there’s a death to deal with, and whilst I know it’s coming it is still going to upset me when it happens. This is the point at which their already challenging world will be torn apart and makes possible the subsequent events.
I nearly need a sign to put up on my office door saying ‘Gone to 1853 New York – back in a few months’. However, with the Irish folk songs playing occasionally in the background and the talk about the stench and filth, the street plan as it was then and what my characters are doing, I think my family may realise where I am without the sign!