Saturday, 30 August 2008

Going backwards

I have a completed adult novel, first draft and most of the second. Well, I set out writing it as an adult novel. It has an adult MC. But a lot of those who have read it say it is more YA. There’s no real violence or ‘naughty bits’ and I suppose the story theme is more one associated with YA. But, because it seems to have fallen into this crossover place and because of a lot of other things, I’ve lost confidence in it. I just can’t see where I can sell it if people are begging for more action. I didn’t set out to write an action novel.

Anyway, that’s by the way. I’ve been thinking of writing a prequel, setting it firmly in YA territory. Then, as in the Earthsea Quartet, when my MC appears as an adult in the second book, it won’t be so strange. The problem is, I can’t think of a real plot beyond about the first five chapters. There are a few things that need to happen to link into the next book, but it is really going to have to grab the reader ...and I just can’t find it.

Does anyone have any suggestions? What do you do when you have clear characters and can’t think what to do with them? I’ve tried my usual trick of ‘talking’ to them in my head, but I think they’re mad at me for making them go backwards. They don’t want to give me a plot. They’re not even helping me with suggestions on how to rewrite the beginning of the other story to make it more ‘hooky’. My brain’s full of cotton wool. Help!

1 comment:

Luc2 said...

I'm taking a wild guess that I was one of those begging for more action. But hey, I'm just a reader and a critter. Let agents decide whether this can sell or not. Maybe they'll find the lack of violence and naughty bits refreshing for an adult novel. After 20 reactions, you can start lose confidence, a bit.

To your question: maybe start with writing a hook, or a query letter. Condensing your story to 2 or 3 sentences or paragraphs can really give some focus.