One of the greatest criticisms of my first book I SPIDER is that it’s a bit ‘all over the place’. I think it actually enhances the story because the story is written as the ramblings of a mad man.
Unfortunately, my second book is shaping up to be just as ‘all over the place’ and is structurally a lot more complicated. I’m about 40,000 words in and after vomiting all of my initial thoughts out it’s time to try and create some structure.
It’s a fairly simple structure, I have a Protagonist and an Antagonist and I see their stories running simultaneously (a chapter of the good guy then a chapter of the bad guy). Using this method I will probably compare their lives; good guy looks after mother when she’s sick, bad guy kills mother with a tyre iron.
But then the whole thing starts to get complicated. I have a character that disappears from the book about half way through and then reappears in the climax or the third act. So in the middle of the crescendo and while I’ve got the reader dying to find out what happens next I’m going to tell a whole bunch of back story about what the character that disappeared has been up to.
Even this would be pretty easy if I had written the book chronologically, but I have this terrible habit of putting a character in a situation, lets say a cabin, and while they are in the cabin I tell part of the back story of the cabin. So even the bits that I’m chopping up are in bits.
Above is a photo of the book cut into chapters, a Protagonist pile and an Antagonist pile. Also there’s a photo of two sets of cards each one representing a chapter in the book. I’m going to change the order of the chapters and then I’ll start filling in the holes in the story.
One of my favourite bloggers is SAMMIWITCH. A real life Witch who talks about… well, Witchy stuff. Apart from being a Witch and a very nice person Sammi is also the author of a series of books called the ANDROMACHE JONES MYSTERIES.
THE MAGICIAN is a short introduction into the world of Andromache Jones, a modern day ‘Renaissance woman’ who uses witchcraft, ingenuity and courage to help solve crimes.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading THE MAGICIAN. It’s light, fun and at the same time has a sense of impending doom that really drives the book along. I was there with the heroin every step of the way as she raced against time. Loved the location, the small town I could see in my head reminded me of the rural areas they shot the TV series ‘The Saint, Simon Templar’.
I think you can download a free copy of THE MAGICIAN Here. I’m looking forward to the rest in the series. Without giving too much away I think I can say that the next time Andromache Jones meets the Magician it won’t be for a friendly game of chess.
As the author of horror/physiological thriller books it’s probably hard for the readers of my blog to imagine me writing in any other genre. But I do wear other hats. In fact, I have written a handful of kids books and even published a couple, strange as it may appear, this is my favorite genre.
As a father of two, one is three the other seven, I have written these stories for my children. The first two books I wrote while my wife was in hospital after giving birth to the eldest, I can’t sit and do nothing. My eldest is now at school and spends most nights reading her home reader, so our little stories have stopped, but every day for a little over three years I would tell her a bedtime story. Every night the story would contain three pandas and a mousey. She was the mousey and the three pandas were toys that sat upon her bed waiting for their nighttime adventure. Each night I would tell my daughter a story and she in turn would have to tell me a story. So each night I would effectively have to create two stories, mine and hers. The story would always start the same way, but then they would go in whatever direction our whims would take us. I have published two of these stories and I’m in the midst of writing an epic third.
My question to you dear reader is, WHO OWNS WHAT? One of the stories I told my daughter was about a naughty prawn (Krill) “PRAWN TO BE WILD”. This came from a drunken BBQ where these lyrics seemed appropriate to the classic song from easy rider. The story I told my daughter was about a prawn who gets up to all sorts of mischief. Before writing the idea up as a children’s book I googled it. There was an obscure game in Canada for Vodafone and a T shirt in the US. Although the title is the same, my story is completely unique. Can I still write this book and publish it? I can change the title easily, Krill of the chase, The thrill of the krill.
One night before we went to bed I brushed her hair and as she still does to this day, she winged and complained about the knots. The story I told that night was about tangle fairy’s. A year or so later I looked it up on google again, and there are lots of them. One book, not the oldest, was even written by a five year old. Ours was a poem, they lived in a knotted tree, tied knots in fishing lines under wharfs and were not the nicest fairies. Can I still write this book and publish it?
The reason I brought this up is that last night I couldn’t sleep. I’m writing a book that is hugely complicated so instead of thinking about the problem at hand I procrastinated. I had an idea for a young kids horror book called ZOMBEES or ZOMBEE apocalypse. You know, little honey bees with wonky eyes and that walk where they drag their back leg. There are hundreds of illustrations and a real species of mite that lays its eggs in honey bees in California all using ‘zombees’. So last night I designed and illustrated a first draft front cover and wrote three pages of the book. (I’m tired today).
Can I still write this book and publish it?
Oh, and by the way, every night for three years we did that thing where my daughter sits on my shoulders and I pretend I can’t find her. We did that until she was tall enough to clock her head on one of the door frames. Try keeping that routine fresh for three years.
One of the characters in the book I’m working on was born in the Bronx and has worked there much of his life. I’m thinking that given his management role and his age (over 50), his natural Bronx accent (not Hispanic) might have diluted; mostly being replaced by a general New York accent. I know that there are many variables. My question to you is, should I write the accent into his dialogue, or point out that he has an accent and leave the dialogue clean?
So one of these fellows wrote about interesting ways of killing people. The other killed a person.
One was a creative powerhouse who penned the freshest horror stories to ever be written. The other is partly to blame for the assassination attempts on Martin Luther King, JFK and Ronald Reagan.
What is the difference between an author of evil doing and an author of evil doing?
As I did with my last book I’ve once again found myself asking the question, “Does this book need to be written?”
My first book was about a kind man who, suffering from mental illness committed murderer.
The book I’m writing at the moment is completely different, the murderer is emotionless, manipulative and evil. The book is as much about the effects of his hideous actions on other people as it is about the lack of effect they have on him.
Do you think that books like this should be written?
One man is Edgar Allen Poe, the other is John Wilkes Booth.
“I think it’s the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.” Said Karl.
“You’re so cute.” Said Bads. “I hope my Dad thinks the same thing, he hasn’t seen it yet. I was a bit drunk, I think. I feel terrible today.”
As he rubbed oil into the slightly raised welts of the new tattoo Karl was more aroused than he had ever been in his life.
“Did it hurt?” Karl asked.
At that Bads turned to look at Karl and staring her right in the face was the large lump in his trousers.
Without thinking Bads started to laugh hysterically, she even pointed at his erection. Karl dropped the jar of oil and ran off. Bads, realizing how rude she’d been called out to Karl, trying to call him back, “It’s all right Karl it’s all right.” But it was too late.
Only two days after that Barbara Adams disappeared, it was Halloween. The local rumor was that she had run away with one of her many boyfriends but Barbara or Bads was never seen again.