Sunday, November 05, 2006

Fool's Gold

I'm thinking of changing the title of my manuscript, for the fourth time. Now I'm thinking Fool's Gold sounds like a good title. And it's thematic. It's not a title I'd considered before. I don't know why it never occurred to me, but I like the sound of it, and I think it sounds marketable. I'd buy it LOL.

I'm making some progress with the new story, starting to get the characters fleshed out. I've got a pretty good picture of the protag and sidekicks, and some good ideas about the setting for the two primary action scenes. Still working on the plot. I've got some pliable ideas but I haven't really gotten down to a good motive yet. That's what I'm working on now. I have some characters in mind for the victims of the crime and the actual crime itself, but I don't have the bad guy yet, nor his motive. I wonder if this is how anyone else goes about starting a new mystery? It seems an ass backward way to go about it, but it's just the way it's going for me right now. I'm putting down on paper the things that are coming to mind as I think about the good guys and exploring ideas for the settings. I've been doing some research on the Okefenokee Swamp, and I like it for the major action scenes. Tension is part of the nature of a swamp. It's fucking kill or be killed in a swamp, the way I think about it. The food chain in action, and Darwin's theory being excercised in all its brutal glory. The formidable creatures; alligators and snakes and bears, leeches and insects, huge birds. Quick sand. Danger. Awesome setting for the opening and most of Act IV.

I'm going to try to plot the story first, working it from the culprit's POV, from the beginning, then write the story from the protag's first person POV. It's a new method for me. When I wrote Fool's Gold I knew where I was starting, and I had an idea of how the story would end, and the underlying theme, but that was all I really started with. I created a few main characters and started writing, letting the characters and the story unfold as I wrote what came to me. It was organic, and I liked it that way, but it did lead to a lot brooding, and tons of revision and heavy editing. Perhaps this method will save time once I've got the crime plotted out. The story will still be organic because I won't have such a pre-conceived notion of the story once Chuck Stone gets involved. The antag will try to outsmart Chuck as he solves the crime, and there will be plenty of paths to explore, but I will have a good road map to follow. It has to start with an excellent motive, though. The characters I'm not worried about, they'll be complex and interesting, thoughtful and humorous. The motive has to be compelling and awe-inspiring.

So, now it's back to brainstorming for a good motive and an intriguing crime.

Peace and good coffee for all the brooding scribes...

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