It's finally spring here in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. New life abounds – the geese
There's lots of work required at the tree farm – setting up the irrigation system, grading and filling low spots in the access roads, as well as waiting for this year's new seedlings to arrive.
After a long grey winter where many things shuffled creativity to the side, writing has re-bounded with my shiny new story. Not only is it a lighter book, it's the first time I've deliberately planned to write a series. Like the farm, writing—especially writing a series—requires building the infrastructure and then adding and deleting—grading and planting if you will—to strengthen plot and character. Simple and yet wonderfully complex.
About a year ago, I read a wonderful quote. Paraphrasing: Once you finish writing a book, you haven’t “learned” to write any book, you’ve learned to write the one you just wrote.
WIP Which means the next one isn't necessarily “easier.” Some manuscripts seem to write themselves. Others constantly struggle—in concept, writing, revision, etc. Every book is different.
I'm at the delightful part of my new story, where anything is possible. Not only is the plot evolving, my characters make interesting announcements as they introduce themselves. Yesterday—Mother's Day—my main character abruptly told me why she divorced The Jerk. It wasn't just that he'd cheated on her. He'd done it deliberately, looking for a new wife, one who could have children. My heart twisted as the words appeared. I have two wonderful children and can only glimpse the pain of someone who can't have a child. While this isn't the focus of the story, I can see already that those experiences are going to shape who Keri is as a character and how she moves forward with her life.
So what about you, fellow authors? Do your characters surprise you with details that make you rethink the character, subplots or the plot itself?
What about you, fellow readers? (I don't know many authors who aren't readers.) Do you enjoy the layers that build a character or are you action oriented? As in, it's all about the plot? Or the characters?