Thursday, June 30, 2011

Progress on my WIP and Other Updates

Yesterday I sent off the synopsis of my second book to Copperhill Media. I actually had 3 different ones. I told them they could pick and choose from all three if they liked.

At the beginning of the week I had 225 pages of Beyond the Black Veil written, and it was at 83,669 words strong. I'm currently at 237 pages, and 88,435 words. I'm guessing it will eventually be at 98,000 when I'm all finished with it. Which is a good length.

This week I was closing in on the climax of the book, and I knew writing this was going to be difficult because of how many characters were going to come together in this scene. So, I worked up individual note cards on each character--as I posted. The other day I wrote a blow by blow outline so as to keep myself focused on who does what & when. I'm currently in the midst of working on this climax, thus I'm a little busy, but I take breaks to think of dialogue. There has to be things revealed gradually here to explain things. There's about to be an action sequence that will also be difficult to hammer out and that will take me the next few days to do that. I'm very excited about it, because one of the characters from the first book will have become something else, or something more, than they had been in the previous two books. I can't even reveal what this is, or who it is, because I'd be giving away the ending of the second book.

Last night I watched an episode of Buffy where Angel kills the teacher, Miss Calendar. We've all come to like Miss. Calendar, and there was a love blossoming between Giles and her during this season. Because Angel has become so nasty and horrible and wants to drive terror into everyone around Buffy, he places Miss. Calendar's body in Gile's bed, setting the scene up to look as though she had been waiting for him.

You see what the death of a likable character does to the other characters. This is key to any good show or book. You set things up, and then you make things go bad, pit your hero against the baddest villain and you want to see her/him win--and against all odds too.

So, after watching this for the second time I asked myself do I want to take one of these likable characters in my third book and kill them off?

This is a thought provoking moment for me. I know who, but I'm questioning it as to whether it will fit in, or even have a purpose toward what I'm trying to do in this book.

Well, it's only a first draft. I don't have to decide now, and nothing is set in stone, after all.  But, when you've watched shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as a writer, you should watch them and take in the nuance of plotting that they use to pull you in, hold your attention, get you to like each character. These characters all seem real when they care about one another, you are right there with them, cry when they cry, laugh when they laugh. You want them to be okay when you leave them. I remember whenever I came to the end of each and everyone of the Harry Potter books, I wanted to join Harry and his friends. I wanted to be on that train to Hogwarts, be at the castle, etc. This is how powerful a writer J.K. Rowling is. It is what we all hope to aspire toward. Understand your characters have to be likable before anyone who picks up your book to keep flipping those pages into the wee hours of the night.

That's my thought of the week.

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