Thursday, May 18, 2006

Developing My Next Novel

As mentioned previously, this week I'm laying the foundation for editing my recently completed fantasy novel, THE REFLECTING STONE, and I'm also working on developing my next novel.

I've tentatively chosen to write a novel called OCCUPANT. I forget when I first had the idea for this novel. It was some time ago, within the past few years. The core concept intrigues me and I think it's a worthwhile story. I made some notes on the story at an earlier time, then a few weeks ago I did some work to revise those notes and use them to develop a detailed outline and character descriptions.

At this time I'm going over that work and also looking at other options, including entirely different plots and characters, that would still allow me to address the core concept for the novel. Currently I'm considering how arranging my new ideas could produce different effects, such as choice of the main character, and how much the reader knows at the outset. If I reveal some information early on, or don't reveal it, the reader will have different experiences in reading the novel. Also, whether or not certain characters know certain things, and what their motivations are, will have an impact on how things play out (obviously). There are a lot of possibilities and it's interesting to see how things could play out based on the framework I establish.

This is certainly early, "conceptual" work and it's rather abstract on the one hand (emotionality, theme, lesson) while concrete on the other (specific characters, specific plot events). It's the early planning phase and I enjoy it a lot, the time when anything is still possible. I hope to decide which version of this novel I'd like to write by the end of this week. I'm still considering whether I might want to write another novel next instead of this one, in which case I'd just put this one off and write it later. I hope to make a final decision by Sunday as to which novel I'll actually write next, then spend at least one more week doing detailed planning on it before starting to write the first draft.


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