I spent time last night, and more time this morning, going over the three story options I've focused on for my next novel, and have chosen one! Before I comment on the novel, let me share my "official" checklist of things I consider when choosing a novel to write.
1. Is the idea interesting, compelling, to me?
2. Do I connect with the story on a deeper level?
3. Do I see a lot of possibilities for the plot and characters?
4. Would the story support treatment in a full-length novel?
5. Would others find the story interesting?
6. Would the story be marketable?
7. Do I like it enough to spend a lot of time working on it?
My next novel will be HARRY VS. THE TRUCK (which I'll refer to as HARRY). I had the idea for it about a year ago. It might be described as magical realism, or urban fantasy, in that the main character does find himself possessing a certain power that is unusual. I'll post seperately with a blurb for the back cover which will show something of what the story is about, and place a permanent link to that posting in the sidebar, once I settle on the exact wording for it. I think I have it down already, but want to let it sit another day before I settle on it.
I have already revised the twelve-step outline for the novel several times, and written scene descriptions for each step in the outline. Each scene description is a paragraph long (twelve paragraphs in total). I'll continue editing that this weekend, reworking the ideas, the exact sequence.
What attracts me to HARRY VS. THE TRUCK?? The story is very sensational, with some amusing and downright astonishing developments. This means it will be fun to write and interesting to read. The story allows me to use my sense of humor much more than I did in THE REFLECTING STONE. The story is bizarre (in an interesting way) on the one hand, but hits very close to home on the other. It is unusual yet familiar, "out there" yet hard-hitting. Potentially. I hope I can realize the mix. I think I can. Also, the story could certainly fit into the range of 60,000 to 72,000 words that I will be shooting for. I want this to be a shorter novel, of a length that is publishable. Finally, this story allows me to wrestle with some demons, which is always a lot of fun (provided one takes due care).
What about OCCUPANT? I'll keep my recent notes and file them away with my previous notes, and keep this story in the back of my mind until I feel I'm fully ready to write it. I'm not quite there yet. The same goes for the other story which I was considering, and which shall remain nameless at this time. It was a close second to HARRY for my next novel and another one I'm eager to write.
I will likely post tomorrow (Sunday) with a tentative timeline, including whether I'll start writing HARRY this week or next. I'm eager to start, and already know so much about the story, but I'll explore whether another week of planning would be useful. I also hope to post the back-cover blurb for HARRY on Sunday. Finally, I will also comment on progress in Phase One of the editing process for THE REFLECTING STONE.