by Shelt Garner
There is a chance that I’ve finally cracked the nut as to how to make this novel novel an Old Brown Shoe to fans of Stieg Larsson’s original Millennium Series. Maybe. It’s possible.
I imagine my heroine looking like a younger version of Nicole Scherzinger.
My gut tells me that I’m at least within shouting distance of that goal. I’m reading “The Girl Who Played With Fire” AGAIN because my computer is on the fritz and I have no choice. It could be it dies altogether pretty soon and I will have to pivot to reading for a few weeks until I can scrounge up the money to buy a new computer.
That seems to be a very real possibility at this point.
The key to my goal is to ratchet up the suspense and drama by leaning into those scenes from a POV different than my heroine’s. Showing events that she’s not present to experience allows me to have it both ways, in a sense. I get to develop my heroine’s character while at the same time showing building tension and danger in the first act as we progress towards The Bad Event that pushes us into the “fun and games” part of the novel — the first half of the second act.
I have often thought this very same thing in the past, only to have it all collapse on me to the point where I say, “Fuck it, let’s just get to the story as soon as possible.”
But maybe — hopefully? — this time will be different.
I’m feeling pretty confident about this third version, with my only major fear at the moment being I will overshoot my goal of about 100,000 words to the point that an editor will want me to slice about 20,000 words — or, the exact number of words I went into this third draft wanting to add.
Anyway. We’ll see. Wish me luck.