I have completed the outline of events for my next book, which will be the sequel to Dragonlinked. Now I’m working on the hard part. I know, in general, what is going to happen (it’s in the outline). What I do not have entirely worked out yet is the how.
I mean, yes, I have a beginning, a middle and an end, and threads of action/reaction go through it all. But the characters still need to play more in the events, need to react to the events, and may end up changing the events. Weaving the characters into it all in a believable way, giving them room to flail about and grow, is the challenge. So, I grab a mug of coffee and think, and think, and think (What kinds of events can I use to create alienation and or fear?). I also do research on anything I’m not clear on (When did newspapers first come into their own? Is there any specific lingo having to do with bells? How widespread was sabotage in the early days of a certain industry? What kinds of flowers bloom during the early spring in the desert southwest?) and think some more.
This getting to the guts of the story, how events affect characters, how characters react, how they change, and how they change following events, is important. And one of the things I’ve learned to pay more attention to.
It’s going well so far.