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Friday, August 01, 2008

Pre-Book Time

I'm in pre-book right now. Pre-book comes before the writing of anything--synopsis or story. For me, it involves figuring out what the story is and getting a better grasp on the characters. This is where I try to figure out where the story takes place, what time of year, what the characters look like, what their issues are, and a slew of other things.

Not all of my questions need to be answered for each story. Sometimes it doesn't really matter what time of year it is, I can just start the story and figure it out from the characters. Are they wearing a jacket? Complaining about being too hot? This can also give me a bead on where the story is happening.

Pre-book can be fun. I love exploring the possibilities, testing different ideas to see if the hero and heroine will accept or reject them. They get final say. It's also fun to listen to them tell me what's going on or to get hints of what's going on from them.

Pre-book can also be frustrating for the exact same reasons it's fun. I can have a great idea, one I want to use, and have the characters say: no way! Or they can tell me things that I'm not that thrilled to write about. of course, this doesn't only happen before the book starts. :-)

This particular stretch of pre-book hasn't been the most productive ever, but as I mentioned in an earlier post, this hero and heroine have been largely quiet while Logan and Shona, from the book I just finished, have been showing me post-book scenes. (Which is another blog topic, but I love getting the after-the-story story from my hero and heroine.) So I'm getting small pieces of information from my pre-book h/h and trying to piece them all together to figure out the story.

Some of the information has left me excited and eager to explore the idea when I get to the story. Other pieces--not so much. And one of the things I thought was going to be a big deal for months is turning out to maybe not be as important as I thought. That's the frustrating part.

There were a few other things I thought would be different. I planned that the book would take place in Kel's territory, but it looks as if I'm going to have another book set in Seattle--that's Logan's territory. Everything I'm getting on the story says Seattle. This is making me wonder if Kel lost his territory--I don't know yet and he's not talking.

I've got some other big holes, too. Like the bad guy. Right now, he's robot-like, but I don't think he's some cyborg. I'm just not sure why he's the way he is, and while I complain about Kel being closemouthed, at least he is giving me information. This villain is totally silent and just looks at me when I ask him questions. When that happens with a hero or heroine, I ask their friends or family, but I just have no sense of others with this bad guy so that's not a possibility--at least not right now.

This is major because I can't figure out the story without knowing what the bad guy wants or why he wants it and that's keeping me in pre-book and not into the actual writing of anything. I just don't know enough yet.