Saturday, September 14, 2013

WRITING A NOVEL - Location, Location, Location

With the blueprint complete, I need to find the lot to "build" the novel on. Comparing the novel to building a house, deciding on the location equates to setting, characters, and main storyline of the novel.

Some authors brand themselves by writing stories in the same genre to the same audience. This is a good thing. By doing this, the author attracts the same audience of readers and gives them what they expect. For example, when I mention the following authors I'm certain you will know what to expect if you pick up one of their books: Stephen King, Karen Kingsbury, Nicholas Sparks, Dan Brown, Danielle Steel, Dr. Seuss, J.K. Rowling, etc. As a relatively new author, I am experimenting with different genres and focusing more on the story. Instead of forming a story to fit a genre, I prefer to let the genre develop as I decide on the story. This might not be the most traditional approach from a branding standpoint, but at this point, I am more concerned about writing a good story.

SETTING: I am pretty sure that the setting for the next novel will be in the South. I was leaning towards Dothan, Alabama as the main setting for the story but have recently been thinking that I might need to return to Buckhead, Georgia.

CHARACTERS: As I cogitate about the characters, something is drawing me towards David Mitchell being one of the main characters. He is a single, 32 year old man, the son of Ryan and Keri Mitchell, who is a pilot for Mercy Flight, Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia. David lives in the Atlanta area. His sister, Martha Mitchell Darby, is married to Ronald Darby and they live in Dothan. My decision about the characters could help me with the setting. With David's access to a Gulfstream jet, he can be in any location in the world in a matter of hours. So I see the story having some interesting opportunities. I have always wanted to use England as one of my settings...perhaps David needs to make a trip across the pond. If that happens, you are in for a treat. We lived in England for three years and I absolutely loved it. This would open up some international opportunities for the story. Regardless of the main setting, David will travel to some interesting locations as his journey unfolds. As to what he will get into, I can only imagine at this point, but I seem to believe he will have some relationship lessons to learn and to share with readers. Who knows, we might have a wedding before the story ends...but you can be sure there will be a few twists and turns before that happens.

STORYLINE: The main storyline is still in the "oven." I never know when it will be ready. I wait. Right now I can sense that it will be packed full of adventure, suspense, and emotion. Opportunities for travel, exciting new relationships, adventure, twists and turns, and new interesting, humorous characters from the Deep South. I am considering a storyline that ties Ryan Mitchell to his son David Mitchell. The life of the father becomes a critical link to the son finding his purpose in life and the woman of his dreams. I am leaning towards writing about the elderly...not in a dreary way...but more in a revealing way. I am surrounded by elderly people and I find them very interesting. Growing old is something we all will face--hopefully. Every trip to the grocery store or doctor's appointment with my 85 year-old father is a case study that promises me a few scenes in my next book. Approaching the end of life is something we often do not want to think about. I think we should.

So I continue to mull over the possibilities and let my subconscious work. The pre-writing is an important part of a good story. All good stories come from somewhere deep inside of the writer and it takes time to let the story come to you. Life is a bubbling spring of hope when it is filtered through the correct filter.

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