Friday 10th February 2017

You’d think after my meeting with Kate yesterday on Book 2’s first draft that I’d be very much thinking about the subplot that needs replacing.
But instead, I’ve almost pushed it to the back of my mind.  My creative process works best when it’s in the background.
So the focus for at least the next couple of days is Netflix and videogames and books.
It’s taken me a long while to accept this as part of my creative process.  I often want to dive in and fix things right away.  But I find the best ideas come when I don’t look for them.
I do feel as if I should start building the plot to book 3 soon though and that may start to happen over the weekend.
Explaining this to Kate yesterday, book 3 is looking somewhat complex.    For the first two books, I have a subplot of each of the egos of my hero:  his true self in polite society, and his adventures as the Shade Knight.  Inevitably they intertwine before coming to an conclusion.
But book 3 is looking like it might have 3 subplots… and that’s going to be a bit of a challenge.  There’s the fight against the big bad which will occupy most of the time of my superhero.  But then there’s a new character who you’re never sure is a friend or foe.  And then there’s a murder mystery to solve.
I know the first scene of the new book, and after watching Punisher on Netflix I know how the book ends.  I’m happy with the proposed end as it brings in a lot of characters, plus I think the stakes at risk make it not only a good book to end a novel, but a trilogy as well (working on basis that I hope I’ll get a trilogy commissioned).  Of course, I have a LOT more books planned so I don’t want it to feel too much of an end.  But after rereading Grave Peril recently, I now have a good sense of how I can make a satisfying conclusion to a contractual trilogy without making it seem like the end of the series.
I have a partial of the new book, but I’ve not added a lot of the recent additions to it.  However, now I have a beginning and an end, I feel ready to start working with the corkboard in Scrivener.
I need about 40 chapters to make the length consistent with previous books so I’ll put in the first and last couple of chapters as cards on the corkboard, and then start putting in things that need to happen.  That could be as simple as “X dies”.  I won’t know how, or where at this time, but I’ll flesh these out, moving cards around and consolidating them as I see fit.
In the past it’s taken me about a month to do this.  I usually get stuck around the 13th and 26th chapter as the acts change, so there will be some parts that will be very detailed and clear and some where there are huge gaps or comments like “How does the hero find out?”
I don’t intend to write the book for a while but I’d like to have a detailed enough synopsis that I could give it to a potential publisher.  If I can do that by beginning of April then I can work on the next draft of book 2.
Of course, the elephant in the room is book 1.  If work has to be done on that, it’s going to be prioritised over everything else.
But for tonight,  it was hands off, just hanging out round my friend’s house with his family while the kids played.  Stuff like this used to make me anxious, that I was somehow being lazy by being away from my desk, but I’ve learnt that the ideas will come on their own accord, and the best thing I can do is not guilty about feeling like I’m spending time away.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels.  Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.

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