Chapter 17: Dance with Danger

A bad dream rips David from sleep, and a bizarre fire draws him outside. I mean for TSoD to be visually engaging, and the little flame is a fun example of that. I also like the similarity between David and the wooden sculpture, although I feel like I sort of beat that point to death; but I have gotten positive feedback on the comparison, so I’m keeping it.

I had a creative epiphany last week, and it gave me a much needed surge of energy.
My writing process is not a linear one. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve done four novels so far. Each of them provided a great learning experience in one way or another, but TSoD was the first to ever really operate from an outline, and even then it was only loosely followed. In the past, I just sort of painted my plot into a corner until *poof!*, one day I uncovered the way they would neatly wrap up. Although this has worked out satisfactorily so far (and no one can claim the stories are predictable: since I don’t even know the end!), it’s not a way of writing I would encourage — it’s stressful, it can lead to many a rewrite, and I’m waiting for the time when a solution does not present itself in a timely manner. Then I will be in real trouble.
But Stephen King’s On Writing talks on this point — King’s theory is that each story is already there, and it is the author’s role to uncover the truth of it, and I agree. I think there are several ways to handle a story, and many paths to take for its completion: but there is only one true path, one best path. Each tale has a best possible path, and as the author it’s my job to find where that route naturally forms.
The point is this: where am I going to go with David?
My plan from the beginning has been two books: basically a micro and a macro, a little picture and big picture. But I was on the way home the other day, letting my mind wander and relax (work and wedding planning are keeping it continually buzzing at 60 mph, it deserved a break) and suddenly, inexplicably — this could be a trilogy.
Josh has encouraged me to consider carefully, and he’s right. Trilogies can be cumbersome and just too much of a certain plot or idea or character. There is a dangerous, oversaturating element there; but my last trilogy got better and better with each book. That might simply be a declaration of my improved competence in writing, but it could also be the opportunity to produce a deeper, richer adventure.
I am still considering whether it is plausible or not, but I am also beginning to think it will be a necessary element to the tale. It would help connect David better with the reader and assign a more “real-world” element to the story, plus flesh out the stakes. Not to mention it will be a crazy challenge for me as a writer, since I’d be tackling a setting I’ve never undertaken before.

And the event that sparked the consideration in the first place? A crowded bus ride, excellent sound-proofed earbuds and one Nine Inch Nails song. I had forgotten just how inspiring music can be. Oh, the possibilities…