Current work: Venice book
Listening to: Vivaldi cello concerti/Athlete
Reading: Nikki Logan – Lights, Camera, Kiss the Boss (nice debut)
What I like about beginning a new book is the potential. I’m a planner, so I know pretty much what’s going to happen and when before I start. However, I’m also flexible – it’s OK to change things if I have a better idea.
I started with action, at a point of change. But the emotional stakes just weren’t there, and I knew it. I also knew why: my heroine isn’t going to spill her feelings to her boss. Her best friend… now, that’s another matter. My heroine can spill to her (or not – the friend will know anyway). And be told uncomfortable things (because you’ll accept it from your best friend, right?). So I’m starting the book a bit later on than I originally planned. The stuff I’d written isn’t wasted: it’s background information necessary for me to know so I can write the next bit. And am I breaking the rule by telling what happened, rather than showing it? No. The reader learns what happened through dialogue and reaction, and said reaction shows the emotional side of things – so it’s still showing. Just in a slightly different way.
My ed tells me that the word to remember for this book is passion. Hmm. I think what she really means is that I must remember to signpost things properly. For me, it feels as if I’m being heavy-handed, because I know the story and the characters; however, what I forget (and what both my editor and agent have to remind me about at the moment) is that the reader doesn’t have my head. I have to get it ON THE PAGE.
Which isn’t the same as having them do each other on page one. (I’m bored with that. Bored, bored, bored. So, dear reader, you’re not going to get *that* book because you’ll find it boring, too.) At the moment, I’m interested in masks and what people are hiding. Hence a book set in the city of masks. But where does passion fit in with masks? (Ask me in a week and I might have an answer. Today, I don’t.)
The title of this post is actually the title of a book I like very, very, VERY much – part of Catherine Fox’s Johnny Whitaker series. (Highly recommended, btw. I love the wordgames in it. And the characters. Fabulous writing and I so wish she would write more of the series.)
And that leads me to a question: how would YOU define passion?