I am now working on the follow up to my first book, The Ford Chronicles: Out of the Frying Pan (available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or even for your iPad http://www.thecraigellis.com/purchase.html). The new book will document the further adventures of my hero, Ford Edwards and his friends who like the Bruce Willis’ character, John McClane, somehow always find themselves in trouble and at the center of some mystery. And since I don’t already spend enough time in front of a keyboard and monitor (sarcasm here), I will from time to time document the progress of my new novel. For copy write reasons I can’t give you the title of my second book, so I’ll just refer to it as TFCII, The Ford Chronicles: II.
I’ve been writing for some weeks now and actually had the idea for TFCII while writing the first book. I suppose that happens all the time. They say that the first thing J.K. Rowling wrote was the final conflict between Harry Potter and Voldemort. She knew only the end of her character’s journey, not the end of a single book.
I am just the opposite. I have no idea where Ford will end up, and while I have an idea how this book will end, it’s not very detailed. As a matter of fact it’s one sentence. Since I’m not going to give my ending away, I’ll say it was equivalent to J.K., saying, “Harry defeats Voldemort.” (I hope I didn’t give anything away there).
So I started outlining but quickly found that instead of telling an emotional story, I was simply outlining the steps of how “Harry defeats Voldemort.”
I have to say that this felt unsatisfying and made it hard to write because the story was void of all the emotion that typically kept your interest So, after engaging in the usual procrastination activities, I decided that I needed to approach this from a different direction.
Using the greatest time waster ever, the internet, I searched different methods of writing and landed on the The Snowflake Method. Follow this link to read and understand the Snowflake process. (http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/articles/snowflake-method/)
For me this meant going back and looking at my characters and really taking time to understand them and not just give them a biographical background, but also give them an emotional background as well.
To make a long story short. I’ve used this method to create my characters and outline and I now find myself in the day to day process of working on the manuscript.
Some days are good and some days are not. Some days I’m bored to tears by what I’ve written and that can’t be good because if my writing can’t excite me how do I expect it to excite the reader. Other days, it’s just the opposite.
Which brings me to today. Today I found myself getting mired in the details of description. What type of wine will be drunk, what type of suitcase is someone carrying. None of this stuff moves the story forward, it’s just there to help paint a picture in the readers mind. Plus, in some cases it doesn’t even matter. A reader doesn’t have to have personal knowledge of a wine like Domain Romanée Conti, to appreciate it’s value. It’s important that the Characters appreciate the value. If it’s important to the characters than it’ll be important to the reader. (That is unless you’ve actually had DRC and/or want to share it with me. Call, we’ll talk).
So to help remedy what I was doing. I created a separate list of “details” that will need to be addressed later. Now I will just get the story moving and concentrate on the interaction of the characters. The key here will be to remember to go back and add the details. This is something I won’t forget because I got dinged on a few sports details last book. Critics you know who you are.