It's Writer's Wednesday again and I'm deep in work on my new novel, so I wanted to share some thoughts about world-building, because essentially that's what I'm working on, and what's being so hard right now.
I have this great new character who wants her own mystery series, and I'm doing my best to give it to her. But I have to admit, after 5 novels in one series, I'm a little rusty on starting from scratch. In fact, since that series started from something I wrote before I had a clue what I was doing (and believe me, it showed in the amount of time/effort it took to revise it), I really don't know how to do this.
There. That's the truth of it. I'm struggling with a chicken-and-egg problem. How do I know who did the killing and why (and who didn't) without knowing about the whole town and all the history? But how do I know what history is important if I don't know about the murder?
So far, in an attempt to get a grip on all this, I've written a 10-page biography of my main character, and started writing up an incident that happened in the town 20 years ago that I'm pretty sure is important. I'm hoping that will give me the characters who matter, too. But instead, it's given me a new problem, in that the histories that come to mind are largely grim, and offer little room for the kind of humorous touch that I, and my readers, want.
I'm about ready to chuck it all and do what I did so long ago when I drafted my first Pismawallops PTA mystery: just start writing and hope for the best.
Seriously, I can't tell any longer if I'm not ready to write because I need a better outline, or if I'm just scared to start. So tell me what you do when you're starting an all-new book with no connections to anything else you've written!
Meanwhile: we're ready to launch the Smashwords Summer/Winter sale, July 1-30. The first in series for both the Pismawallops PTA and the Ninja Librarian are free. The second in series is half price, and the BookElves Anthologies, featuring stories by eleven middle grade writers including me, are also free! These prices are temporary, and only at Smashwords!