Friday, May 31, 2019

Man-made Writers’ Block

In case you haven’t heard, my debut novel Western Terminus is now available at Amazon through the link in the sidebar there. Very good reviews. You’re going to love it. I put the final edits to it in Feb 2019 and here we are in June almost (!) and there’s been very little movement on the next installment of this Eli Tucker series, titled The Fixed Element. I’ve got about 6500 words in the can, and I want the book to run about 65-70k, which would be just under 300 pages.

The story picks up after Christmas in the early spring, maybe just before tax time. Eli’s FBI relationships are easy to follow up on because he’s still with the Bureau, so that’s good. I introduce a new interesting character who will help him through the first part of the story due to his connections. I introduce one of the two antagonists for the book very quickly too. 

But something has been holding me up: the location. Both sets of antagonists are in the Tucson-Phoenix corridor, outside of Cochise county. Jim Funk and Heather Hill, both of whom are important people in his life, are based in Cochise County and for whatever reason are unlikely to come into Tucson and Phoenix. So setting the action in these cities meant I could not for the life of me figure out how to weave them in. 

Sure I could write separate subplots for them (and Harold) but that would leave the book disjointed. There’s already an A reel and a B reel, so adding C, D and E etc. will make it a different kind of book. No longer a thriller, really. Thrillers have to move fast. 

So no dice.

And herein lies the writer’s block.

Of course the answer is obvious. Sometimes my natural dumbness overcomes obvious solutions. That’s how strong my dumbness can be. The answer is to move the main antagonist from southeast Tucson, where I had planted them, over to Cochise. Cochise isn’t very populated but there are enough dots on the map that I can squeeze this antagonist in. In fact, it’ll be even more threatening and dire in a smaller community. 

That’s the next thing. I’m going to go back and pick up the whole scene and move it to Cochise. Then Jim Funk and Gabe Rodriguez and Heather and even maybe Ellen can work in easier. Probably not Ellen, but her situation is the focus of the B plot so I’m not as worried about it. 

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