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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Back Story

A very productive morning. "The Janus Rules" has turned out to be somewhat more complex than any of my other novels because it has two different "cases"--the one Jack's firm is hired for and the stalker menacing him and Tabitha. Yesterday, I broke off writing at the point where Angel is about to do her second interview while undercover at the client's accounting business when I realized I needed to know what this next person's angle is. It was time to work on back story.

Earlier, I had started a "Notes" document. I often do this while in the process of working on a different novel, a place to capture ideas. I had already made a list of characters, especially the staff of the accounting firm. This morning, I opened that document and figured out who those people are. I created a plan involving a couple of them and embroidered the history of another who will look like a suspect. I also wrote up notes on the stalker, which led to some quick research on things related to that person's motive. So now I know who the "bad guys" are, what they plan to do and why. Of course, some of the other characters will initially look like baddies, too, just to keep things interesting, and one of the baddies will not look so guilty early on. A criminal mastermind needs to be clever, right?

Woven around these two centers of action are the protagonists. Jack is questioning his lifestyle choices--does he want to move into peaceful family life and stay away from potential danger or does he want to be on the front lines, doing the investigative work he loves? Tabitha knows of Jack's inner debate, and while she does not want to give up her career, she wants that home life, too. If she remains focused on her singing, it might give Jack license to focus on his business, but how then will they ever move toward the future they desire? Angel wants to prove herself to Jack, who has replaced her father in a way as someone she wants approval from, that she can be a private investigator, but she often questions her own abilities. She's got a love interest, but her tendency to be overly suspicious of just about everyone gets in the way.

This IS getting complicated. But it's fun!

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