Friday, August 6, 2010


So I don't make Cate lose bodily control through uncontrollable laughter, I've started making cards to pin up on my board, which will allow me to see the whole storyline in front of me. Those couple of days I spent a week or two (or three) ago hand writing the major points of each chapter have now been transcribed into a carefully created table within Word which spans 17 pages.

Now that they are typed out, I can see where I need to add a great deal of detail as some of my rather overly concise noting leaves very little to the imagination and a whole lot to misinterpretation. In other words, my note taking sucks the big one and needs to be redone. But that's okay because I am working on my WIP without having to tackle the bad news that I'm not actually writing anything new at this moment. I'll tackle that little hurdle in due time. It's kind of like slacking off while I'm still working on it - I can live with that.

But, on a lighter point, it has also allowed me to see glaring loose ends I didn't tie off. It has also allowed me to plot in some things which need to be there and some things I now want to be in there to extend the story both in this instalment and further on into the series I plan to write (one day).

But I have an issue which could do with a good dose of your help and advice - if you would be so kind.

Currently, my story has two major characters who have lots of conflicts and complications thrown at them - all good and well. I now want to introduce a third character. I'm not sure if I should only have this character introduced around the edges in this story and include her more fully in the next, or make her integral to everything up front. This would necessitate a major rewrite - from scratch.

I've read series in the past, such as Darren Shan's, The Demonata series which concentrates on an individual character in each book and feeds in other characters as required. I have ideas about additional conflict between the three major characters on all sorts of levels (love, religion, lifestyle, etc), and I'm dying to include it all and drop my main man well and truly in it up to his neck, but am I trying to cram too much into one story? Should I simply allow the new girl to move in across the road and drop hints about her alternative lifestyle in the first book, which would allow me to not have a major rewrite other than the expansion of the characters I already have, or should I throw in all the ideas I have and use the later books to expand on what I started here, only changing the underlying scene and plot (what trouble are our kids in this week, type of thing).

Nate and Cindy are only just getting to know each other - they don't kiss until very late in the first book. Do I need to add the love triangle into this or should they get to know each other better before I add that poker into the fire (in the next book)? Should I establish that Nate is a very scientifically minded individual in the first book and hit him with some alternative points of view from the new girl, or do I just let the readers become comfortable with Nate's way of thinking in this book and introduce magic into the next book?

I'm quite enjoying playing chess with my characters and the story as it currently stands. I'm not looking forward to actually pulling it apart and then trying to get it all to fit back together seamlessly. I'm not sure I can manage it.

On another tack...

Has anyone read the Dark Pages anthology yet? I've had verbal feedback from a work colleague, who allowed his daughter to read it. Apparently she thought it was pretty cool, although I thought she was a bit young to be reading the type of content Dark Pages contains - but each to there own. At least she thought it was cool. I'd love to see any review or thoughts anyone else has (and you can buy it from the link above or from the Amazon widget at the end of this post...).

Alan - are we selling any? How are things going on the business end of it? Email me.

On yet another subject...

My family were jumping around celebrating this morning as we only have one day left to go before we get the Internet back on at home. It's sad that a countdown has been running alongside the countdown to my daughter's birthday and they are almost as excited about the Net relaunch as the impending increase in age for the little one. Says a lot about our society's way of life in this day and age...

Anyway, I'm now rambling, so you all know that things are getting back to normal with me. Any and all suggestions and comments on any and all of the topics above would be appreciated.

Speak soon


  1. Excuse me, but I have complete control of my bladder. :P

  2. I was more worried about possible projectile drinks through the nose causing irreparable damage to keyboard or laptop - as I vaguely remember reading about in the past. Mind you, that could be attributed to someone else as my memory is vague at the best of times.

    Anyway, as I thought having a board but no cards was very lame, and you laughed at me, I figured I'd better rectify the situation. You may now pat yourself on the back for giving me some motivation to move an inch closer to accomplishing something.

    Well done, Cate!

  3. I read this and wondered if I needed to learn how to outline. But the very thought of it makes me itchy and ready to kick somebody. "Don't tell me what to do!" I'd scream at it, and throw it in the fireplace.

    Yes, every home in Las Vegas has a fireplace. No, I don't know why. It must be for those rare days when it deeps below 85 degrees.

    Hi BT! It's good to see you again! I haven't been keeping up with blogs very well, either.


  4. Okay. Well, Mr. BT, sir, I love series books that take on one character per book, but allow for glimpses of the other secondary, tertiary, etc. characters as well. It's like reading mythology in a sense - one leads to another.

    And you never want to put too much conflict into one, particularly a first one, either. I think just Nate and Cindy getting to know each other and everything that comes along with that is good, that could really build up some tension without throwing in a possible triangle. But, it could always be ever so slightly alluded to, for the next book. :)

    You and Cate make me want to outline properly! LOL

  5. I thought I had posted here, but I think I may have folded out before the capsha took so let me try again. I like the card idea. I should do it with the pieces I am working on. I would have to take it to my shop where I could poke holes in the walls without getting in trouble by the better half.

    The idea of playing chess with your characters is an apt analogy.