With my most recent DCI John Blizzard crime novel having been submitted to the team at my publisher The Book Folks, my attention has turned to the new DCI Jack Harris story.
But what does a writer need when beginning such a large project? Well, there’s a lot to think about but, above all, the author needs an idea that is strong enough to sustain him/her through the long months of crafting a book.
For some writers, those ideas are prompted by a place, somewhere that strikes them so forcibly that the story unfolds around it. Other writers start with a character, someone so interesting, so intriguing, that they can almost tell the story on their own. Other writers begin with the story itself, an idea inspired by everything from a newspaper snippet to something someone says or a sudden sense of ’what if?’
Normally, I start off with a place but for the new novel place, idea and characters presented themselves at just about the same time.
The place was the image of a North Pennines riverbank and the characters were Harris fishing for brown trout with one of his closest friends, who has appeared in several other novels. For a writer working on a series, as for the reader, starting a new book is like meeting old friends.
The idea was … well, I’ll keep that to myself until the book is ready for publication, I think!
Whatever a writer’s motivation - and there will be many other things that drive them to begin writing - one thing is certain: if the idea drives you to sit down in front of that computer or lift up that pen, it’s got to be strong enough to sustain the author through the writing process.
Picture by Lindsey Garrett, used courtesy of https://www.pexels.com/
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