For some time now I have been throwing around ideas for my next book. A few months ago I had the wisp of an idea but was not sure how this would develop – or whether it would at all. As usual once something grabs me I let it expand, mostly by thinking about it and jotting down notes. Fairly early on I can see whether this is going to go anywhere and I have to admit I knew the initial brief outline in front of me was going to involve me in some pretty complicated information gathering. That, for me, was where the idea began to stall and to take on a different and more impossible challenge with all the associated headaches. Now I do like challenges, it’s all part of the writing process but there are sensible challenges and downright crazy ones. This initial nub of thought eventually morphed into one of the latter but it didn’t quite fade away. I held onto my usual basic principles, a village and a town location, a relationship gone wrong, one young woman with two love interests, lots of conflict and, of course, a background story to support the central characters and the supporting players. The more I gave it thought the more it expanded into scenes and situations which I knew would work and turn into a commercial story. More notes, a cast list with their own personal histories and I was almost ready. This book will be in three parts: a prologue in the present day, part one set in 2007 and part two taking us back to the present day. So I have a double-decker sandwich, three pieces of bread with the filling (main plot) still to be finalised.
On Thursday I began and the rough draft of the prologue is now complete. I’ve just begun the first scene in 2007 and at the same time I’m jotting down ideas for the progression of this section of the book, putting some flesh on the bones of the outline I’ve written. Of course, I know I’m going to be in for another magical ride. As for the last five books, once the story gets underway it tends to make its own mind up about where it’s going and will always take me off course on a journey full of surprises. I do envy those writers who are really organised, sort characters and plot out and faithfully write to plan. But that’s not for me and one of the greatest buzzes I get from writing is the unexpected. None of my finished books in any way resemble the way they were originally structured and I’ve now come to terms with the fact that is how it has to be, for me anyway