Ryan and Essie is going to get a new cover and The Prince’s Ball has a slight world-switch. I’ll detail those soon. But I promised to explore a bit of mystery in my plots, so I’ll do that here.
For the record, I’ve usually found mystery a genre worth little attention. At times, I’ve even thought of it as remarkably boring because it emphasizes plot (the mystery and its elements) over characters, love stories, adventure, philosophy, or any other type of situation. In fact, saying you’re reading a mystery is just saying, “I’m reading a book with a, like, plot.” Even if the characters have quirks or relationships, they are only for developing the mystery. The characters don’t exist independently of the plot’s needs. Of course, all my stories have mystery because they have things for the characters to find out. Characters who know everything already are like people who do—insufferable.
Because plots are the skeleton of a book, not its flesh and blood, I hadn’t thought of that element as singled out on its own. But I’m aware a lot of people read this way. So I’ll clarify that yes, mystery is important to my work. It’s just not the only thing. Facets of Fantasy, for instance, has 5 stories and every one has a strong mystery plot. Each world holds a secret inside it that the characters uncover. But I don’t call it Facets of Mystery because that’s not the only reason to read the book.
And there will be more updates
Since I roughly have a book for every year I’ve been writing, I now have a few “characters” to play around with. The cast of books isn’t complete, of course, and I have many more books planned. Every good story told is essentially the same one over and over. It has the exact same arcs, types of situations, strong areas, weak areas, weird areas, things that need to be brought out more, parts that are misunderstood and can help explore someone’s psychology, etc.
Although I don’t have all the “characters” yet, I have 9 by now, with each book being like a character in a larger story. I actually expect people to be interested in just one or two, because that’s how they respond to characters. (That puts my mind at ease about genre writing, which like many authors I’d viewed as a sort of necessity. But writing genre would have every book be the same, which would be like showing the exact same character over and over and over and over.)
Here’s a list of them:
Once I decided each of my books was part of one long story, the task has become deciding what pieces go where rather than whether some pieces should go and some stay. I find that people don’t tend to be good listeners, but it’s not easy for me to assign a visual personality to my work. However, I found a way around this communication problem once I started to think of the BOOKS as characters in their own right.
Within each book I started casting the characters as actors, but I also began to view the books individually as if they were characters too. Reading the book is like starting to zone in on and actually listen to a character you are interested in. Skimming a book is like skimming over a character’s scenes, maybe you like one or two, but you’re actually trying to not to get involved. Complaining about a book tends to mean you feel threatened or cheated when it’s not for you—as with complaining about a character.
I now make posters arranging book covers as if they were people’s faces. It helps me pinpoint what book would draw in which person.
And there will be more updates.
In The Force Awakens Maz Kanata knows Finn is lying because she has a lot of experience. “When you’ve lived as long as I have, you see the same eyes in different people.” In the same way, books mimic life by having people go through the exact same events. In real life, or in fiction, people never change. Each kind of person appears again and attaches themselves to a someone in the book who they feel is at their same point in life.
As a character or situation weakens and loses value, it is appealing to the more fringe people of society, eventually vanishing and becoming dropped. When a character just honestly isn’t meaningful anymore, but there were once so many people invested, it becomes interesting to the immature until it’s just so silly we’ll let it go. Some of the most insidious, treacherous, selfish people always attach themselves to a quiet underdog character, because these people always look to conceal themselves in real life and they do so when reading as well. And so on and so on.
When I examined my characters in that level of detail, I found this complete little world emerging out of 9 books. A world I’d never thought to look for. That’s a number of books, actually, and the characters and situations are beginning to accumulate. I started to recognize them as similar to many other characters I’ve seen, which meant they were at the same stages of development. And that meant they had people attached to them and I could know who those people were. This suddenly made my job as an author a lot easier. I was going about it quite wrong and doing far too much work. I don’t have to find readers. I just have to go on creating characters that mimic a stage in their lives.
And there will be more updates.
7 books published and 3 more on the way. Farmer's daughter, Star Wars fan, loves to read rather than talk about reading. Always has time to finish her WIP.