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Friday, September 14, 2012

It's a Labor of Love

"Stranger Faces" final sequence proving to be a major planning endeavor. There are so many people involved, each with his or her own motive for doing what they do, and it all has to come out in the end, preferably not in the form of a big chunk of exposition by any character in the wrap-up chapter. It's a tall order.

I've gone through the exercise of writing a sort of synopsis of what happens that Tracy doesn't get to know about until later. The tricky thing is that she is coming at the puzzle sideways, long after the action originally starts offstage. Each person involved takes actions that move the story forward but they must also have a motive for what they do. And it must be a believable one. As I work out those motivations and figure out who did what along the way, sometimes it changes passages I have already written in fundamental ways. For example, I had in mind two characters in a conspiracy but they have since merged into one. (Less complicated always helps!) Then I had to go back and make sure all the references were in order, did not contradict the actual facts but did not relay too much too soon to the reader. Arrrrgh! Sometimes creating the puzzle can be harder than unraveling one.

I've also been sidetracked a little by planning for the Joliet Author Fest. I have designed some new signage as well as a tri-fold brochure for my books. That took some fiddling around, but I think I've got something. It's not as fancy as the full-color fliers I put together for the Glen Ellyn BookFest back in June, but it does the job and may be easier for people to grab and look at. It might also lend itself to being placed in public places for the casual passerby.

Already I'm thinking ahead to my next project after "Stranger Faces." I've been toying with the idea of a collection of my science fiction short stories, an anthology type thing. Beyond that, there are a lot of choices among my older manuscripts, any of which could be revised and massaged into shape.

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