As I’ve mentioned endlessly, I’m on the last leg of my novel, and the last leg is when everything has to come together. I did the Writing Process meme Alison Tyler fired my way and I touched briefly on my writing process, but this only the gist of the first part of it.
Let’s start with the Idea
1. Come up with a scene. This usually strikes me in the middle of some mundane task — dishes, day job, grocery shopping, and so on. I jot down some notes, then forget about it.
A wealthy playboy with ties to organized crime is attacked in his sleep by his junkie girlfriend. Maintains a shady persona even after he becomes a recluse.
2. Days, weeks, months, years later the story bites me again. I start wondering about one or both of the characters and start to flesh things out a little more. Start to go a little mental trying to figure this out in my head. This goes on FOREVER.
Uses cameras and lackeys to maintain control from afar. Develops an interest in someone — junkie girlfriend let out of prison and trying to get her life sorted? Younger sister of junkie-girlfriend whose life has been rough as part of such a notorious story (also has her own history with hero, which makes her think he deserves what he got)? A journalist writing a book about the attack who starts probing a little too much for his liking?
3. Revisit the first story much later and have another stab at it. Fail miserably. Cry a lot.
4. Come up with a completely different story, get really really excited thinking about the possibilities for a novel.
Secretary gets freaky in the office, doesn’t realize that boss is watching. Kind of like that scene from Gone With The Wind when Scarlett meets Rhett, only much more porny.
5. See #3.
6. Much later, revisit first story, more crying, and THEN IT BECOME SO CLEAR. THE HERO FROM THE FIRST STORY IS ALSO THE HERO FROM THE SECOND STORY OH MY GOD I AM BRILLIANT WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THIS SOONER?
Wealthy playboy attacked by junkie girlfriend. Becomes a recluse. Is sad man for a long time. Develops obsession with technology, spies on his employees. After seeing a naughty secretary get freaky after-hours, he develops a bit of an obsession with her. When she’s alone one night he makes contact.
In the case of the first book in the series I’m writing, the above scenario is what happened. I only intended to write a short story as filler for a self-pubbed antho. I got some good feedback on the story, so I released it as a stand-alone freebie — at which point the readers started to comment that they wanted more. So with nothing else on my plate, I tried to make a go of it.
Down the road I’ll do a post that deals with the actual writing process, but really, it goes something like this: