So, I am currently in the early stages of writing a new book. It’s going to be much longer than the last one–probably will end up being a novella, but maybe a novel if I’m lucky. It’s already about as long as the longest story in my first book, and I’m still introducing the main characters and conflicts.
I’ve tried to incorporate the helpful suggestions and critiques I’ve received from my first attempt–many of which came from Blogger friend P.M. Prescott, to whom I’m very grateful. The book so far is much more like the last story in the collection, ‘The Quarry”, in that there is more dialogue, and the dialogue is used to convey information about the characters and setting, rather than just using the description.
One of the hardest things about writing fiction is that I’ll get stuck with a certain”voice” in my head, and it gets translated to the page it permeates the whole story. In the last collection, the “voice” was very much like H.P. Lovecraft’s, and Lovecraft rarely did dialogue. And regardless, when you have a single authorial voice, it can make it hard to write dialogue that seems like it’s really multiple people–you have to be careful to differentiate how they speak, so it’s clear who’s who.
That is not to say there is not any description. The other thing that I’m working on is putting a little more thought into the descriptions, to try to do a better job of painting a picture for the reader. In previous work, I’ve consciously shied away from doing too much in the way of description, because I think that too much can bog the story down, and that sometimes the most effective way of scaring somebody is to leave some things unsaid or just hinted, so their mind fills in the blanks with the scariest things they can imagine. But it’s a delicate balance, and I may have gone too far in the direction of vagueness before; making the scenes seem too clinical and detached.
The other thing I’m doing differently this time is what I’m doing right now: occasional blog updates on my progress. I’ll maybe even post an excerpt or two, depending how it goes.