Saturday, November 16, 2013

Writing a Novel: It Takes A Village

So, this happened last weekend:

Which quickly led to this:

So I haven't had much time to focus on editing my second Love Inspired Suspense. It's due December, but only needs a fresh proof read, so some time away might not be a bad thing. 
Instead, I've been sitting with a pencil and a notepad and brainstorming scenes for my next full length novel. 

This is how my brain interprets the structure of a novel into something that encompasses the amount of chapters I need.

I got it from a combination of Susan May Warren's Deep and Wide, and Save the Cat.

After structure, I decided to see how far I could get with a scene by scene/chapter by chapter outline that I stuck to poster paper. I used sticky tack so I can move the scenes around later, or put fresh ones in.
Here's what it looks like:

But that's where I hit a snag. I need to create a whole town (population two hundred), and not just with normal people you find everywhere. Interesting people. Quirky, unique people with colorful pasts. I have maybe a dozen or so already, but some extras would add fun stuff to my novel.
I don't need all two hundred, but I'm planning three full novels and two novellas so a decent handful of characters would make it so I'm not just hanging out with the same people for four hundred thousand words...and my readers aren't either.

So here it is.
Comment below to be immortalized in a fictional world:

What is your name?
How did you end up in Witness Protection?
What famous person do you most closely resemble?
Tell me something about your personality/an overriding attitude/your strongest attribute?


  1. Do I need to make up a name, or just use mine? Well anyway, my name is Sarah Grace, or if I'm making up one, I love Nadia Marie. :)
    I was the girlfriend of an art thief, only I didn't know that until it was too late. He just seemed like a normal guy, you know? He was late for a date, so I went to his apartment to find out what was up since he wasn't answering his phone. The door was open, so I pushed in and there he was handing off a painting to some "friend" of his. He looks up and tries to explain away the painting, telling me it's a print copy for this guy. I knew he was lying as soon as I saw the painting. It was one he'd pointed out to me a couple weeks ago at a gallery opening and he described the artist's particular style and how it would look on a print (for some reason, I didn't question how he knew this). So, anyway, I tell him I'm calling the police (dumb move), his friend yells and tries to grab me, but I got away and went straight to the police station. Then the threats start, turns out it wasn't just him and his friend who were in on it, but that he was working for a big organization and they were determined that I would not testify and put one of their best behind bars. That's when I got places in WitSec and given a new identity.
    Well, I took a vote and the consensus is a young Jamie Lee Curtis or Sandra Bullock, so good luck with that one. :)
    I'm very much in love with my God. If you don't know anything else about me, I hope you see my Lord reflected in me.
    I'm very blunt, so if you ask my opinion, you better want the truth, 'cause that's what you'll get. I try to soften it and I never intentionally hurt someone's feelings, but I won't lie to you either (which makes WitSec difficult). I also have this weird photographic memory. I can remember photos (which is why I remembered the painting so vividly) and I have this mental pictures of pages, but I can't "see" enough to know what's on them. It really does me no good when I'm trying to memorize something, 'cause no one ever needs to know what the page looks like! lol :)
    I don't if this helps you any Lisa, but that's what I came up with.

  2. Thank you, Sarah! I love the detail, I can already see her walking around my town!
    If you're thinking up a character to suggest, you should know you can write as much or as little as you want. It's all you :-)
    And - feel free to use your name, or make up a fantabulous/tragic alter ego.

  3. My name is Shelby Evangline and I ended up in the Witness Protection Program when I witnessed murder of the Mayor of our small town. Who knew he was involved with the Cartel. Well we all know they will do anything to find me and permanently get rid of me.

    I been told for years that I look just like Sally Fields when she was in the Flying Nun!! Before my time but I goggled her and they are right!!

    I love working with young people, especially the youth group at our church. I lead a Human Video Team which goes out an ministers to youth in the community and competes at Fine Arts both District and National. I am a good listener so people old and young are always telling me things! I am also very compassionate, which can lead to a lot of tears.

    I am young, 25 years old and have been married 2 years to the most awesome man in the world a drummer and graphic designer named Aaron!!

  4. Thanks Pamela! The town is very isolated, but your idea actually fits with something I had planned :-)