Friday, January 2, 2009
Back at work on the novel
Posting yesterday's entry on New Year's resolutions seems to have pushed me off the dime, at least a little, on Resolution No. 1 -- to resume work on that fourth Steve Martinez novel.
One of the problems I was having was shaping a convincing character to be my killer. None of those I'd created really seemed to possess a plausible motive to deprive another human being of his life and to be the kind who would develop sufficient skill with a weapon highly unusual in the commission of serial murder.
So yesterday morning, a few minutes after putting up that blogpost, right out of the blue I hit upon a new character to insert into Chapter One of Hang Fire, and now maybe at last I've come unstuck.
My task is not just to give a person enough physical description to allow the reader to see that person, but also to build a history that lets the reader know him or her. (I am deliberately being vague about the gender. Think I'm going to telegraph everything?)
Right this moment a telling detail to dab into my developing portrait has just occurred to me. It's a detail that carries an important clue to the plot but also one that won't immediately cause the reader to say "Aha! Here's the killer!" At least I hope so.
Now to go insert that detail . . .