by Shelt Garner
I have reimagined and significantly improved — at least in my view — the beginning of my first novel. One thing I’ve notice from my re-reading of Stieg Larsson’s “The Girl Who Played With Fire” is how much time he spends on establishing character, universe and relationships.
The ideal name for my first novel, if I had my wish.
With that in mind, I have given a great deal of thought to how I can pull readers in with engaging characters so when The Big Event happens, they care enough about them enough to finish the rest of the novel. That, at least, is the goal.
But, as I keep saying, I’m doing all of this in a vacuum. I just don’t know. It could be that even though I love what I’m doing with this novel, the audience will be repelled. If nothing else, I have come up with some pretty provocative plot points that will make readers sit up and take notice.
I talk about periods and the specifics of sex from a female point of view. I have a female “consultant” that I talk to about these things so I don’t make a fool out of myself. I’m not a very dark — or serious — person by nature and as such, rather than shocking the audience with explicit violence, I hope to intrigue them discussion things you usually don’t see in novels.
Anyway. I continue to realize that I need to stop making my heroine so fucking passive. She’s suppose to be the prime mover of the novel. She’s suppose to be ornery and have agency and be someone you like and care enough about that you want to spend the time necessary to read roughly 100,000 words about her life.
In the end, I just can’t overthink things. I need to just write and come back and edit things as necessary. There’s a reason why they say all novels are abandoned rather than finished.