Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Process = Product

In light of what I blogged about last week–the process of thinking through an idea and outlining a plot for a new boook–I thought this quote I stumbled on during the week was interesting:

Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work.

Chuck Close

I’ve got to admit, I don’t know who Chuck Close is, and I haven’t had time this week (two family funerals, both elderly aunts) to find out. But I can report that I’ve taken Chuck’s advice to heart. I have shown up here at my desk as much as possible, and I’ve gotten to work, all right. For the second book in the Button Box mystery series, here’s what I’ve got so far:

1. A chart that lists the continuing characters, where they were at the end of the last book (ie., "Kaz is avoiding his creditors and as the book ends, is leaving town"), what they’ve been up to since (ie., "Nev and Josie haven’t seen each other much, he’s working nights and she’s working on the button convention she’s chairing"), and where they are as the second book opens (i.e., "Josie is juggling a million little details for the convention, everyone wants something from her, she’s busy and running in a hundred different directions at once").

2. A list of suspects. I’ve got five. They are all good ones, too. In fact, they’re so good, I haven’t decided yet who the murderer is going to be.

3. Six pages (so far) of outlining notes. Right now, it’s just a bulleted list (this happens, then this happens, then this happens). I’ve got the beginning planned out, where my heroine is, how her ex (the above-mentioned Kaz) shows up and why, what’s happening in her life. In fact, I’ve planned all the way up to the murder and why Josie–who is not a police professional but a dealer in antique buttons–fits into the picture. Now the real work begins as I figure out how to step her through the investigation all the way to the exciting conclusion.

As soon as I figure out the exciting conclusion.

Stay tuned. With any luck (and no more funerals), I’ll have more to report next week.


Sharon S. said...

How fun it would be to tell everyone at the gym "sorry, got to run. I have a murder to plan"

Casey said...

I tell people stuff like that all the time. And you're right, is fun!