I am hammering out the main plot for my next novel, a sequel to the Florida-based crime-and-surfing novel, SHAPER (available from Arachis Press and booksellers everywhere!). This one will almost certainly be titled WAVES and will move on from the previous book’s drug smuggling to public corruption and shady real estate deals.
There were a load of subplots and ideas I had ready, but nothing overarching to bring them together. That had been the obstacle to moving forward, having a concept to which I could tie everything. Once all that is worked out, the actual writing of the narrative is not particularly difficult nor time-consuming. It becomes paint-by-numbers to some extent.
Because, of course, I know my characters by that time and how they will react to situations. Oh, I shall certainly discover some things about them as I go along, but nothing earth-shaking, nothing that will require changing the story. Rather, little things that further illuminate their makeup might find their way into the narrative.
And their makeup, who they truly are, is really what the novel is about. Plot simply gives the characters a framework in which to act and react. WAVES will be more about the relationship between Ted and Michelle than about any criminal activities in Cully Beach.
Will WAVES be ready before the end of the year? No telling. Shoot, I could get inspired and churn it out in a couple weeks or I could drop dead tomorrow. No point in planning ahead right now!