In the Beginning – Starting a New Novel
My ninth book (Glitched) is with my editor right now and so, it’s time for me to start writing the next one. Book number ten will be the second in the Mike Malick series, and it’s unique in my experience for one reason. I don’t really know what it’s about.
Here’s what I’ve got:
A title: You Go To My Head (yes, another Sinatra song).
A pretty solid cast of characters.
A reference photo for the cover art.
And a news story about a real crime that gave me the germ of an idea. I’m not linking to it, obviously.
Other than that…I got nothin’. Every other time I’ve actually sat down to start placing words one by one into a coherent story I’ve had a pretty fleshed-out plan in mind. Sometimes those plans change. But this is the first time I’ve sat down to a fairly rasa tabula.
So what now? I’ve got to turn this
into a full novel that
- Gives readers what they’ve come to expect in a Malick novel: snark, crime-solving, waitress-banging
- Tells a compelling and complete story from the discovery of crime to the solution of whodunit
- Touches on and advances the subplots and story arcs in the series
- Feels familiar but not too similar to the first book Summer Wind
Where do I begin? I start with a victim. Right now I don’t know the name, gender, or method of murder. All I know is why the person was killed and who did it. But this dead body will put Malick and his partner Cricket Yi on the train that will carry them to the end of the story, some 300 pages away.
It’s unfamiliar and sort of scary but also a bit liberating. BRB, gotta go kill someone.