Monday, January 21, 2008

The fun behind building a compelling story

There are a few things I have to do before I begin writing a new novel. First (and most important to me) I need to shake off the characters I worked with on my last novel by creating a whole new set I can't wait to play with in a new one.

That's now been done.

I have two brothers who haven't seen each other in forty years, a blind girl, a character who made his living as a magician in the 1940s, a middle-aged, unemployed construction worker with a secret, one woman who sacrificed much of her life for her children, another who was never able to have any, an old man, a pond, a bench, and a random act of violence that changed everything.

Some people think I shouldn't share this kind of information on my blog, but I see no reason not to. Trust me, I have enough trouble following my own train of thought when it comes to piecing together each story, so if anyone believes they can steal something useful, have fun with that.

Back to the point: I've sketched out the main story line for my new novel, and now I have all the characters impatiently waiting to drag their sub-plots into the mix. They are an interesting group and each one will contribute an essential piece of the puzzle that completes this story.

My old characters from The Silver Compass are fading fast and these new ones have begun to dominate my thoughts. And am I having fun? Yup! My day job rocks.

21 comments:

Melissa Marsh said...

All those characters are a terrific combination already! I can't wait to see what you do with them. :-)

Adam said...

LOL How do you think this up?!
Do you spend months putting together your thoughts for a new book or do you really do it in a two week time period?

I labor to come up with two half-way decent characters in one of my shorts stories.

Mystery Robin said...

Wooo! Such an exciting time!

Brenda said...

I totally know that feeling! Isn't it great?! It's like falling in love again. :) I'm going through that right now with my new characters. It's so fun. Can't wait to see what you do with that interesting cast.

Anissa said...

Great stuff, Holly! Enjoy the discovery.

wordman17 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
wordman17 said...

Ha! I need to be drinking
before I can think up characters
that mesh together like that.

Ramona said...

My problem is I never finish my WIPS! Starting them and dreaming up the characters is always the easy part for me. Somewhere around page 100 I always give up and get depressed.

Larramie said...

You need to start charging these characters rent for taking up so much mental AND emotional space! ;)

ORION said...

I know what you mean about leaving characters. It's really hard to do.

The Anti-Wife said...

It's really fun to create characters. The only problem is I have so many now I need to eliminate a few of my book will be nothing but descriptions of them.

Nadine said...

LOL* I wish I could borrow your brain for a few days so I could get my characters sorted out!

It seems for months now they've been tangled in a free for all wrestling match and I've gotten nothing done!!!!

booklady said...

I love that stage of writing, where you get to play with new characters and think about all the different plot possibilities. Enjoy it!

Demon Hunter said...

It sounds wonderful. I cannot wait to read it! :*)

Victoria said...

Sounds intriguing!
These are the characters for
The Keeper of the Pond then?

Trish Ryan said...

I love that imagery of shaking out the old characters and opening up a new bunch you can't wait to play with!

Can't wait to see the results :)

Wendy Roberts said...

Holly, this is so exciting! Sounds like you've got another winneer!

kyla-dale said...

Very cool.
You tell great stories. Don't knock that mind of yours! It might give you headaches but it gives me joy when I read your books.

Church Lady said...

A bench?
Cool.
Could you name it "ABenchPress?"
heh heh!!
:-)

THose characters rock!!

Alisha said...

Sounds like it will be
a good book. (Sure enjoy
your blog posts.)

Travis Erwin said...

Sounds great. Like you I start with characters and go from there, but unlike you I have to do all of this by the darkness of night since my day job is needed in order for my family to eat, but someday ...