Next on the agenda

I’ve settled on what I plan to work on next. I have three novel ideas floating around in my brain, any of which I might have chosen to start, but two were eliminated because I don’t think I have imagined them sufficiently yet to carry me through; I fear I will run into a void where I don’t know what happens next, and this tends to be when I stall out and abandon works. (I realize this is how some writers work, but it sure doesn’t work for me.)

So I’m going to begin fooling around with one of my Finnegan novels, those murderless mystery stories I’ve been writing at for years. I’ve written three, but two of them were practice work, and the third would need some further work if it was going to be sent around for consideration. I’ve been making notes for this new novel, and when I looked at the file, I found that I have more than 6,300 words there — just in notes. I know what happens and when in the story. I have all of the essential characters clear in my mind. My theme, the slipperiness of identity, continues to assert itself in various plot and character developments as I consider them. I think I have sufficient critical mass to write this.

As I was going through these notes, I found the name I had given to two of the characters. There are a mother and a daughter named Harris. This happens to be essential, for reasons I won’t reveal here, but it also happens to be the name of a minor character in my novel-in-progress, The Sleep of Reason, and so, like just about every other character in that novel, I need to give him a new name. It’s not a big deal. The character only appears in the last two chapters, and he is more of a space filler than a key player. Nor did I intend for his name to carry some hidden, secondary meaning. Thus it will be no big deal to change his name, and while I’m at it, I can change the name of another minor character. When I wrote him into the story, I just used the first name that popped into my feverish brain. It happens to be the name of one of my nephews, and since my character faces a grim fate, I don’t want my nephew to think that it somehow reflects on him.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Finnegans, Humble efforts

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