I’m getting kind of pumped. I had a *Zen* moment earlier today when little ideas of my story suddenly sprouted roots and branches and started to interconnect. I feel pretty positive about the mood and attitude that I want to go for. It’s got to have comedy, or rather humour, or it just won’t be very interesting. It would be a passable mystery if it just tried to be a mystery, but I really would like it to be more than that. I have never written any comedy fiction pieces before, so this will give me a chance to prove to myself that I’ve got the chops for it. Thus, in that vein I’ve come up with some great character and place names that will really lend themselves to the overall mood. I have some brief character sketchwork done, and I’m wrangling through some of the beginning research that I know I need if I’m going to write about this in a half-way intelligent fashion. All in all, I’m way further along than I was four days ago, and certainly a lot more intrigued by where this could go.
This will be a completely different book than I originally set out to write when I signed on for NaNoWriMo. As usually happens, the story will change; it has to change if it is to remain alive and breathing through its duration. I’m not going to make 10 pages of notes before I begin, but I do feel like this needs a bit more structure and direction than my previous book has exhibited so far. Not that that’s bad – in its place, it’s appropriate (and I think it is in my first novel), but it makes the story move more slowly, and it rather becomes more of a character-driven novel than anything.
In this, however, I feel like the story, though not what’s most important, is the thing that drives the characters to do what they do. In that sense, it needs to be somewhat protected from the vagaries of detail analysis and introspective wanderings by the narrative into subthemes and alternate paths. It needs to have a skeletal structure that will be fleshed out by the characters and their reactions to settings and circumstances. It needs to move, snap, and fly off the page, turning the pages for the readers so they don’t have to. It should run like a car with a full tank of gas and a good, well-rested driver at the wheel. I’ll do my best not to fall asleep while I’m driving.
I’m afraid I can’t give away much of the plot before I start, but I can tell you that it’s a murder mystery set in 1951 New Jersey. Since I think in movies, I’m going to compare the story to what you might have seen on the big screen or in your living room. Think Chinatown fused with Who Framed Roger Rabbit, with a dash of L.A. Confidential and…oh, say, Absolute Power.
I probably could have picked better representations, but I am tired of thinking of movies my idea is like. It’s new, the subject is old, but the circumstances have never been written about before, and I think it’s got a lot of potential.