Monday, July 28, 2008

Net, I Don’t Need a &^$* Net!

Cast your mind back, way back, to January, when the snow was falling and the wind was cold (those of you in Hawaii and Arizona can pretend). I wrote to say that I was taking a different approach to the new book and flying without a net, so to speak, as I didn’t have an outline or even a conclusion. In fact, I didn’t know who did it or why and I was worried about whether that approach would work for me. Here’s the link:

Well, I’ve finished the first draft and the approach worked (I hope – my editor and readers might think differently!). I was nearing the climax – I knew what I wanted to happen there – but I was still unsure between two possible candidates for the role of villain. Over the course of the writing, I had several people in mind, but as it evolved only two were good prospects. I felt sort of like a real Constable Molly Smith, judging the suspects and juggling clues until, with a burst of inspiration, I solved the crime!

It was a fun way to go about it. Will I do that again? No. It worked this time because I had a very definite idea for the opening of the book and I was prepared to work my way forward from there. But all in all, I prefer to have a good outline before beginning.

My second drafts are usually a lot of work, but with this book, it’ll be even more so. Because I didn’t know that X was the guilty party, I have to make X know more than they seemed to and Y know less. The personality of X didn’t change much throughout the book, but it will have to be tweaked a bit to make the crime more plausible, and to drop a few clues here and there. And all the clues that pointed to Y might have to be toned down a mite.

Next time, I’ll put that net up first.

Time now to come up with an exciting and unique title. Is that as difficult for anyone else as it is for me?


Rick Blechta said...

Yes and no.

Donis Casey said...

Coming up with titles drives me right round the bend. My first book had an oh-so-clever title, and now I feel pressured to come up with something in the same vein for every book. The book I'm 'working' on now has been through at least ten.

Charles benoit said...

Rose comes up with all my titles, so it's easy for me.

Vicki Delany said...

Ask Rose to think of one for me. How about Inspector Benoit Investigates? Yes, Vancouver Police Inspector Rose Benoit returns in Valley of the Lost.

Rick Blechta said...

Does she use Tenderflake lard to solve the crime?


Vicki Delany said...

Sorry, don't get the reference.

Rick Blechta said...

Don't you remember those commercials from the late '60s, early '70s with Madame Benoit talking about the virtues of Tenderflake Lard? Come on now, I've never had a television the entire time I've been in this country and I've heard about them!

Or was it just a Quebec thing?