I’ve been researching and outlining book 4 for about a month now, though there were many other things I had to take care of during that time, so some days were lost. I rewrote/rearranged the scenes in the prologue and chapter 1 a few times, until it felt better. I’ve got about nine chapters outlined at this point, and am doing research for some interesting ideas I’d like to include. I know, in general, what will happen in the book. It’s the working out how to logically get the steps connected and feel organic that takes time, coffee, day-dreaming, intense brainstorming, as well as reading, watching movies, watching TV shows, or anything unrelated to writing to just let everything percolate.
Book 4 will have a character with . . . an interesting background. I’m still working on his story, trying to figure out how he will be affected by everything, but I think he will add a fresh and different perspective on dragonlinked life and life in general. Once I get his story worked out, I can figure out how to weave it into the rest. As interesting an idea as it is to include him, I don’t want him to just be in there with no purpose.
One thing I learned from the critique group (and in reading about writing) is that whatever you include in a book, whether a person, a device, a scene, or what have you, it should do something—reflect on the book’s theme, show or advance someone’s character, show an important aspect of life in the world, do some foreshadowing, or advance the plot, to mention just a few. Preferably, inclusions can do double or triple duty. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do include things just for the ‘wow’ factor, or the ‘squee’ factor, but I try to include those in scenes that ‘do something.’ I’m hoping this character will have the ‘wow’ factor and will also add a couple of those ‘somethings.’
So that’s where progress is now. Those of you wondering (if there are any of you) can take heart, I am working on book 4. 🙂
P.S. I will do a post soon with what I learned from the advertising test I did.