I finished up my last project. It’s now siting comfortable in the To Be Edited Q.
Also good news!
I really like the novel that I was feeling like I ought to write the follow up to. It was good enough that as I was doing a reread to make sure I knew where I was at I got engaged with the characters, I didn’t get frustrated about the edit work (I know it needs 2-4 passes!), and I did the same excited walking around the house with the iPad in hand reading thing I do when I’m really into a book. But it was my book! That was pretty cool. I do love the main character. I love the world. So I’ve made a decision. Jenna’s second book it will be.
I have no idea what the next arc is for this character. I’ve got some longer term ideas. But I destroyed (or the main character resolved…) some of the major potential villains. So I have to start building new characters that may generate conflict.
I think I’m going to try to take part in the NaNo webinar they have coming up about building diverse characters and planning. (I’ve felt like these have been hit or miss in the past so I’m trying to not get too excited about them.)
The planning tactic that has worked best for me has been writing short (200-2000 words) fiction pieces about the characters. I’ve got dozens of random pieces of fiction, some within the universe, some totally not…about characters. This has been wildly helpful for me to figure out who a character is, how they’d respond to things, and making them into a fully fleshed human being (or not…as the case may be).
I also use index cards. Which does kind of contrast with the rest of my writing and planning. But I don’t care. It works for me for now. Action cards are one color. Character cards are another color. Artifact (cursed objects, software programs, ships, shoes, anything that factors in that I will get the details wrong on if I’m not paying attention.