Thursday, 15 December 2011

Starting the next one . . .

I began writing the sequel to The Toy Sorcerer a week or so ago, after a couple of months constructing the plot, sub plot, beginning, middle and end. I knew where I wanted to finish - with a nice cliff hanger in readiness for book three - so the rest was quite straightforward. Until I actually began to write.
I’ve already had another idea for a sub-plot within the first couple of chapters; this doesn’t exactly smash the months of planning, but most certainly warps it . . . for now. I’ve never really followed any set of rules for creative writing, rather, I’ve learned by trial and error and some fabulous coaching from my editor, Susan Malone. But having said this, I wonder if other writers ‘make it up as they go along’. Personally, I prefer to think of my stories evolving naturally, with well rounded characters leading the way.
Having spent a number of years as an actress and then a commercial script writer, I learned the key skills of immersing myself into a character, so that the performance was completely natural. The very same principle works when writing fiction; if the characters have strong - or even weak - characters, then that is what you portray to the nth degree. Never make your character do something out of character, unless it is integral to the plot (or sub-plot).
One of my characters is destined for great things, however, so the more powerful she becomes, the stronger my storyline is going to have to be to do her justice. Truth is, I don’t know what is going to happen next, only what will happen at the end. Alice’s adventure is mine too and I know she’s going to take me to some incredible places and show me amazing things. Her enemies have some nasty surprises up their sleeves too. Human kind will be seen at its best and its very worst. I will be left wondering if humanity deserves to survive at all, when the darkest truth of our species is revealed - from a very surprising source. . .

I just love these journeys into the unknown . . .


  1. I had a similar experience when writing my first book The Vanishing Cyclist. I went through five different endings in the planning stage, then started to write. Oddly I started the book in the middle, wrote that (and my favourite...) bit of the book then totally re-wrote the ending and a large chunk of the sub-plot because I couldn't bear to inflict anything too horrible on certain characters!
    I guess I'm a bit of a softie, but for the sake of balance I was equally as mean to other characters, so it all ended up OK!

    1. I think we all find which way works best for us, and I doubt two writers will work their magic the same way. I know what you mean about being kind to your characters; I think the closer you get to them, the more protective you become!