Monday, 14 February 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

bit of rain - cool

We're having another lazy day! Reading and relaxing. Am preparing more and more for the upcoming book, which I start to write March 1st. I actually begin to think about it a year or two in advance, since so many elements of the books are intertwined and the roots, if you care to trace them, go back into earlier books. So I need to be aware of where the books and plots and characters are going.

But the finer points begin in earnest in the summer before I start to, about eight months before. As you know, I also do some 'on-site' research at Saint-Benoit-du-lac in September and again in December. And have spend quiet time just letting things settle and bubble and solidify and take wing.

It's such a fun process - in many ways for me the most fun....just letting the themes present themselves. I carry a notebook for book 8, split into different sections, and have much of it already filled with ideas, thoughts, quotes, themes - how events and themes might intertwine...and refer to the past and be relevant to future books.

But it is crucial, I've come to realize, not to 'peak' too soon. If I think about it too much while away - a few weeks before I actually come to write it - then it could begin to get stale instead of exciting. Like eating too much of my favorite meal. I want to hit that 'sweet spot' - where I know where the book is going, how it begins, and the main themes - and am both excited and comfortable.

And them I start to write. But I don't want to run the risk of over-thinking or over-planning. Again, that perfect balance of direction and inspiration. Room to breathe.

yesterday, over breakfast, Michael and I talked about the book....a lovely part of the process for me is that conversation with Michael where I tell him where I'm at and we bounce idea around...generally at this stage. I hadn't yet decided who the victim will be. It was between two characters....but which makes the best victim? And who should remain alive to deal with Gamache etc. Dynamics. Tension. conversations. Relationships. All need to be examined, turned around, dissected, and fit into place.

I love those conversations - and Michael says he does too. he's very good at it. Bringing up this aspect, that thought...what ifs...

Over coffee we decided on the victim. though, frankly, that might still change. But for now I'm very happy with it.

Next conversation? The killer! you'd think by now I'd know all that...but really for me the important preparation is things like the themes, the setting, the characters, what propels theme. Their issues and pain and joys...and how they all intersect.

Am also about to start reading The Naked Now by Richard Rohr as part of my preparation (nothing to do with Valentine's Day, I promise you.)

Speaking of which, I hope you're enjoying Valentine's Day.

thank you SO much for all your lovely, fun, supportive comments about the Barry and St. Lucia! The truth is, I've decided to try to stay off the computer as much as possible until the vacation ends. But I'll be back on next week and tell you all about it!

Be well - and thank you for your company.


Diane said...

Hi Louise: Thanks for your wonderful post. It's exciting to hear you talking about your next book. Get lots of rest as come March 1st it all switches up again. Look forward to reading your post next week.

lil Gluckstern said...

Enjoy your rest-we'll be here cheering you on.

Anonymous said...

I love the way you depict the different seasons in your books. How I would love to go there!

I bought two of your books recently to give to a friend. The second one is insurance; I know you'll hook him with the first one.

How interesting that you have a specific start-to-write date. The promise of spring and the promise of more journeys to Three Pines... ahhhh!

Linda said...

So glad to hear the next book is about to come together. The steps you take from little ideas to final hand-off (to the publisher) I find so interesting. Who knew book writing could be so exciting?! Enjoy the rest of your vacation. (We want you to be fully rested up!)

Darlene said...

Thank you for letting us see so much of your process. It's interesting how different authors work in different ways.

Recently I saw Andrew Pyper interviewed. He said he has everything outlined in detail before he begins to actually write, then just relates the story.

It sounds as though you're more relaxed about it,leaving lots of things to be decided as you write.

Have a great rest before starting in March. You've earned it.

Tammy said...

I am in love with Three Pines and all the villagers. I love Gamache. I think "Bury Your Dead" was absolutely amazing. It has made me interested in Canadian history. I am reading all I can find on it. I actually get the audio books and listen while I work. It makes my day go by so much quicker. Can't wait to "hear" the next book. Have a great vacation.

Lorie said...

Hi, Louise. I have missed your newsletters for about 2 months and finally realized my email provider had changed! I have "re-upped" and am all set. Regards from your traveling notary reader in Central Pennsylvania, USA!