Friday, March 28, 2014

Status Update

Dead Man and the Army of Frogs is off to my beloved beta readers, and I'm busy doing preproduction for my next book. So far I've written 1,800 words of plot outline and it's not even the detailed one. The story is a sort-of-mystery, as mine often are, and what I've figured out is that instead of what will happen in the narrative, the first outline should contain what happens everywhere, including stuff my protagonists are not privy to. Put it in different terms, this is a chronological, omniscient description of events. The next step is to distill it into a bullet point list of events from the POV if my narrator(s).

I like this phase—it's exciting, and a little scary, but mostly all potential. I haven't always done it, but now I find it exceptionally useful. For example, giving names to all my characters even before starting the outline helps me to flesh them out. This is also the time I start doing research. I'm very visual and tend to look for a pictorial reference for every little thing that appears in my story, even if it's for one line.

A chunk of the book is to take place in a two bedroom Craftsman house in Silver Lake, so I drove around there to scout, then spent an hour on Google searching for photos of Craftsman homes. I even downloaded and printed a floor plan—it'll help me to visualize the scenes.

I grabbed another floor plan too, even though the place will probably only appear in one scene. It's a bungalow belonging to Mme Layla, aka Layla Maurell. Yeah, she's Bran's mom from the Dead Man books. :) I like having supporting characters walking from one book to another. This time I'm also planning guest appearances by Detective Lipkin from Dead in L.A. and Sandy Baker from Hanging Loose. Well, that's the plan. You know never know what actually happens once you start writing.

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