Today I’m getting started on the new proposal. I’m not entirely clear on how this works once you’ve got a couple of books under your belt and are angling for a new contract, but I’m pretty sure there’s a proposal involved. It’s just a detailed synopsis, really, a new book’s play-by-play, and maybe a couple of sample chapters if someone asks for them. This is one of the perks of having written a couple of books; people know you’re good for the work and will do what you say you’ll do, and they’ll take a look at what you’re working on next. I don’t need to tell you, in this business that’s a really big deal.
So it’s time to start putting the story together. I’m a bit worried because this book is not a suspense novel like the other two, so the structure is not as obvious to me as it has been in the past. With suspense, the story arc forms naturally. Lots and lots of windup, then release. That happens over and over in a thriller—in miniature, scene by scene, then again on a broader scale over the course of the book. I want this literary novel to have that kind of pull, so I’m looking for ways to keep it really tense throughout and escalate the trouble to the end. Not so easy to do without a crime to work around.
What’s the biggest challenge in your WIP?