Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Getting ready to start...

It occurs to me that when you start out writing a book, it's much like getting ready to take a trip. This analogy came to mind because I'm doing both at the moment -- preparing for a Christmas trip to Nova Scotia, and starting to write book #2 in my mystery book club series.

For my travel trip, I've got the gifts lined up, ready to be tucked in with the clothes in my suitcase; a list of clothing I'll take; that list of things to do, such as cancel the paper, stock up on cat food so my wonderful neighbour won't be faced with an empty can, and pay the monthly bills that will come due. Tick.

For my writing trip, I've got the lists of names ready -- characters and places, a map of the town where it's set, and my sleuth, Lizzie Turner's weekly schedule. I've added a list of issues or thoughts I want to carry over to this book and the proposal I made, so many months ago, to the publisher. Great to have, since I find, upon re-reading it, that my memory has done some editing when I wasn't looking. Tick.

I'm also preparing a list of new characters, complete with necessary background details, a separate notepad where I add plot points whenever they work their way into my thought processes, and a section reserved for questions that need further research. Tick.

And, of course, that brainstorming page where titles are tried out -- how do they look in print -- sort of like the process, as a teen, of writing down your first name with the last name of your boyfriend (I admit, I did that!), waiting for that 'aha' moment when the perfect title emerges. Tick.

And so, two journeys to prepare for...part of the process of travel and of writing. Both exciting. Anyone else making preparations these days?

Linda Wiken/Erika Chase

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