by Shelt Garner
Now that I’m in the third act of the first novel in this five novel project, I think I’m going to turn some of my attention to developing the second novel. The reason why this is so enticing is, in a sense, these five novels are just one big story cut into five pieces.
It’s fun to be able to stay in-universe and see different sides of the same characters I’ve already thought up.
But this second book is going to be a struggle — at least at first — because as of the moment, there’s no murder to solve. There’s definitely a “problem” to solve, but no murder. And, yet, the general conceit of the novel is really strong and lends itself to a mystery -thriller type situation. And, yet, I also expect to lean into the characters in such a way that even if there really isn’t that much “thriller” going on, you enjoy hanging out with the characters enough that you don’t mind.
I suppose this will make the second book more difficult to market, but..that’s really being very speculative. I just need to put my head down and develop and write. I can’t get so wrapped up in what might happen that I begin to get discouraged.
I have five really strong novels and I need to start to flesh them out. And I have to admit that things are — at the moment — flowing pretty well with the development of this second novel. But I do really need to contemplate how I can up the ante and action some.
Right now, the story is interesting, yes, but the stakes aren’t nearly as high as maybe they should or could be. I have some ideas as to how to change that and I’ve found that, in the past, the whole BBB (Bed, Bath and Bus) source of inspiration work really well for me.
A lot of it has to do with be aggressively distracted. If you just distract yourself, usually you can come up with some really interesting solutions to your development problems.