It’s just about the middle of the month of October, and my goal for finishing the outlining for The Unseen is looking tight. I guess much of what is making it look so is that I have no idea when I’ll be done. Here are some of the things I am doing to get this project ready for the frenzy of National Novel Writing Month.
I find as I am going along in this process that defining my characters in ever-increasing detail is necessary. For example, I’ll introduce one of my major characters: Toby Stone.
Stone is a homeless veteran of the First Gulf War. He enters Otter Cove—the setting for the novel—at the beginning of the story, and has no real reason for being there except that it looks like a nice place and that the truck driver he hitched a ride with is stopping there for the night.
Stone is going to be crucial to the outcome of the story, as he will receive a special gift and be called upon to face his fears and use it to battle the demons. His character is growing as I outline; the more I include him as an integral part of the plot, the more his background, his personality and his attitudes grow. He’s a battle veteran, yet is completely unprepared for the fight ahead of him. And he’s been marginalized for many years up to now, yet he will find himself an indispensable member of a team that will ultimately fail without him.
This highlights another great passion of mine as far as writing goes: turning stereotypes on their head. I find a great deal of pleasure in letting a reader’s expectation be set by common bias, so I can flip it over and show something real about the character. I have a few lined up for this novel. including the homeless veteran stereotype.
The protagonist, Lupe Sanchez, is another. The stereotypical female police detective/feisty Latina are ripe for the challenge. She has a past that is not only going to help topple expectations, but also make it extremely difficult to get the job done.
Back To Work
I really need to get back to outlining now, though. I will post the occasional update on my preparations for—as well as during—November.