Ah, there is nothing so sweet as beginning a new book… writing one, I mean. There are plans, but at this point you can change anything. There are intentions, but you’ve not gone so far yet as to disappoint your own expectations.
A lot of writers say this is the difficult part of any book, the beginning, but I find it too easy. Perhaps I need to take more time, but I have a set vision in my mind, generally, and roll with it. In this case, what I’m beginning right now is a murder mystery, so there is a lot I need to know before I begin, but this one came so easily… frighteningly easy. There’s a ready explanation for that; I’ve already written a book with these same characters, only to discover that really, what I’ve already written is the second book in the series, not the first. That’s happened to me before; it’s just a case of recognizing it and moving ahead.
So, because of this, the central character has lived in my head for a couple of years now and I’m quite comfortable with her. I know her very well, I know her husband, her best friend, and her town, I know her motivations, her habits and her work. Now I’m just backing up a couple of months in her life, and telling the prequel, if you will, of the book I’m already done. This is ‘what happened before’.
I’m blessed – or cursed, I haven’t quite decided what it is yet – with great decisiveness when it comes to books and characters and have tunnel vision sometimes. I’m trying to open that up and see more options, but in this case, I know I’m doing the right thing.
One way I knew I was onto something? The title came to me in a flash, when I had struggled with the title for the already-finished book for months and months. But this one came easy. I love it, and it ties in exquisitely to both the theme of the book and the characters.
As Hannibal Smith always said on ‘A Team’, I love it when a plan comes together.