In the writing room right now ...

In the writing room right now ... I am working on book #3 in the Winds of Freedom series, a teen adventure series set in the 1850s in North Danville, Vermont. My 1852 Vermont adventure THIS ARDENT FLAME is scheduled for June 2021 publication with Five Star/Cengage -- I will give you updates and early order information as soon as I know! I'm also writing a memoir; revising a mystery; in the midst of a novel about a grandmother and her granddaughter; and always writing poems. Yes, I guess I do like multi-tasking! How about you?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Looking Into Claire Benedict's Heart: Deepening the Story

Cold Midnight tells the story of Claire Benedict and Ben Riley, teens in 1921 -- their night-time escapades in the town of St. Johnsbury, Vermont, and the moments when they see evidence that may tie to a murder of a local businessman, as well as to the "firebug" who's tormenting the local fire department with false alarms and worse.

I finished the first draft in December of 2010, sent it out to my trusty agent and an insightful editor in January, and received their comments and suggestions in early summer. Since then, I've wrestled with how to change the arc of the book to incorporate these wise notions of what it needs in revision.

Revision? Yes, in my experience, revision is the stage when a "promising" story becomes a really good one. And it requires investigating the heart of the main character of the book, asking questions within the "author heart" about why the person is and does the things in the novel. As the answers become clear, so does the path toward the deeper, better story.

And this week, I've reworked Claire's relationship with her dad -- because underneath all the plot twists and discoveries, that's where the pain of the book resides, and where the real satisfaction can happen, if Claire makes choices that come from both courage and love.

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