The other day I was reading an interesting post on my friend Tamara Drazic’s blog https://tamaradrazic.com/blog/.
She discussed her next book idea while putting aside her recently completed novel. She shared the closeness she felt with her characters as if they were real. It got me thinking about my own characters and the bond we created.
Forming a bond
It’s easy for writers to form a bond with their characters. We spend so much time with them they soon become part of our lives.
I’ll be honest, when I completed my novel the hardest thing to do was say goodbye.
With my first novel Dempsey’s Grill making the rounds of agents it made perfect sense to move on to book number 2. Several ideas came to mind when thinking what I wanted to write.
I had at least three solid ideas that I had considered. What I didn’t expect was the difficulties of moving past the characters I created.
The characters had become old friends. Family to be honest. And turning off that switch was harder than I thought it would be.
Finding the right story
But I knew I had to write again. I couldn’t sit around waiting for an agent to call. And when I made the choice of what I wanted to do next it was a book I had already written.
I came up with the idea while we were vacationing in San Diego a few years back. I kept seeing a little girl, a field of corn and a baseball game.
The story involved some sort of time travel with a man from today’s world accidentally ending up in a time long ago. I wasn’t sure where it was headed or if it would even work but I knew I had to write it.
When we came home from our trip I went to work. I completed the first draft in about a month but right away I could tell something was missing.
Knowing when to stop
I wrote as a pantser from start to finish but I didn’t mind. At least I got it down while it was fresh. Unfortunately the story had one giant flaw: The protagonist was all wrong.
I couldn’t put my finger on it. In fact I couldn’t figure the guy out. He was unmotivated, kind of sad and kind of boring. So I put the book away and forgot about it.
Luckily this was during the time my editor and I were putting the finishing touches on Dempsey’s Grill. We were busy with rewrites, plot holes and so on. Now, fast forward a year later and I am ready to start book two.
What pulled me back was the challenge I faced with fixing the protagonist. I knew the reader had to care and so I did the only thing possible: I started from scratch.
The original protagonist was a nice guy and nothing more. I knew that wasn’t good enough and so I made him bigger than life. A star.
I was watching the Super Bowl when the idea came. American Football is my favorite sport. I began to see him as a retired star searching for the glory days. A dimming spotlight. Somehow through all this he finds a connection with the little girl.
The Spark of ideas
It’s amazing how we come up with ideas. Just like my friend Tamera and the way she came up with hers. We all have our own way of finding a spark that ignites the avalanche of storytelling.
I’ll keep you posted on book number 2. Hopefully it will go as smooth as Dempsey’s Grill. But writing is a mystery with each book that we write a little different than the last.
But that’s okay. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Until next time.
Thanks for stopping by!!!