Thursday, December 10, 2015

Holiday Metaphors

The holiday and new-book seasons are upon us, and it's a great time of year, one of hope and renewal; amidst the shopping and welcoming of guests, I just started writing a new book.

A few weeks ago, I completed a three-book proposal and submitted it to my publisher, Midnight Ink, and this is the first book of that proposal, Everlasting Darkness, the fourth installment of the Peyton Cote series. Peyton is a United States Customs and Border Protection agent, and the CBP's priority is to prevent contraband from entering the US, with thwarting terrorism as priority one. The book I'm working on deals with Syrians immigrating to the US, a hot topic among US politicians and their constituents alike. (Peyton doesn't ask Donald Trump for help handling the refugee crises, if you were wondering.)

But I digress. I'm about 20 pages into the writing, and it's like playing in new-fallen snow on a sunny day: I can see my tracks, and I know where I'm going. I've yet to reach the dreaded 100-page mark, where the forest in front of me darkens, and I wonder if I'm lost.

Every writer has that tipping point, the place where the plot becomes grey, and you wonder if you can find a solution to the puzzle you've created. I find this happens even to those who plan ahead. Hopefully, months or years later, the reader never suspects the writer got lost on their way to grandma's house.

But I'm not at my dreaded 100-page mark yet, and I'm enjoying writing and re-writing my first three scenes. I've got some new developments in Peyton's life that I find interesting (and stressful for her), and I'm setting up the plot and hoping the three months I spent on the three separate book arcs will pay off and lesson the 100-page cramps a little. So far, so good. I caught a potential plot pitfall early, yet the three-page outline hasn't left me feeling handcuffed either.

All I need for Christmas is a detailed road map.


What I'm reading: ISIS: Inside The Army of Terror.

1 comment:

Donis Casey said...

This sounds like the story of my life. My stories always start out gangbusters but halfway through I invariably get lost in the Forest of Despair and have to battle my way out. Good luck on your new series. It sounds fascinating.