Yes, that’s right, Part Two: The Mystery is out RIGHT NOW on Amazon for $1.99 (US).
*SPOILER ALERT* – I’ve tried hard to avoid outright spoilers below, but the hints are definitely there. Plus certain other things you may prefer to find out yourself by reading the story. If so, please feel free to click on the link above and purchase your copy today. – *SPOILER ALERT*
When I wrote the short story that was the original idea behind this novel-in-five-parts, it was purely my Tyler character’s perspective. He was the protagonist and he protagged quite well, I thought.
When turning this story into a novel-length work, however, I quickly realised that I needed more central characters. I also realised that the plot needed to be bigger, with more twists and turns, and have a much more satisfying ending.
Thus Jill Horner came to life.
She was referenced by another character in the original short story, but never appeared until Part One of the novel. As Part One progressed, Jill became a force of her own, dominating more and more of the story, until eventually, I realised that there was no way she wasn’t as equally important.
This was no longer a story about Tyler. This was a story about Tyler and Jill.
So when plotting out Part Two, I decided to switch POVs, to really get inside Jill’s head, knowing that it would add a lot of depth to story. Plus, I had a sneaking suspicion that she was going to be most people’s favourite character.
Then I realised that I could do a lot of fun things with gaps and silences and raising tension by switching POVs between every part of the book. Thus my overarching plot came further to life.
The more I write this story, the more each part seems to come alive. It’s like the story is writing itself. And it gets better and better.
Case in point, I had a nice ending all planned out for Part Two. It would raise tension, but also be wonderfully fulfilling for the reader. People need an awww-yeah! moment at the end of Part Two. While I was writing the final chapter, however, Jill surprised me. She didn’t respond how I thought she would. How I’d planned that she would. Thereby changing the whole ending.
I was shocked. Which, I know, seems ridiculous.
“But how can your character surprise you? You wrote them.”
Well, yes. But characters come alive as you write them. The more details of their past, their personality get filled in, they become more defined. More definitive. Jill responded as Jill would have in that situation. And as it turns out, it made for a better story.
The biggest thing that can vouch for this isn’t my own shock however. It was the response of my father, who proofreads all my writing for me.
He actually gave me an emotional response to my story.
I know that doesn’t sound like much, but for anyone who knows my father, you might be able to understand that one of the reasons I get him to proofread my work is because he’s very good at never giving me anything but spelling and grammar feedback. He likes his paperback westerns, but doesn’t relate to YA urban scifi/fantasy.
Originally, I found this a little frustrating/disheartening, but quickly came to grips with it and quite happily took advantage of eagerness to help tidy up my work, finding other close friends to beta-read for me for the rest of it.
That said, I actually got an emotional response out of him after reading Part Two.
Well, I must be doing something right.
I’ve tried recounting all this in the most oblique way possible as to not spoil anything for those of you excited to read the story.
You can get your very own eBook copy right here.
As with every part in this series, all proceeds will go to my brother Tyler’s cancer treatment and rehabilitation costs. For more information, read my previous blog about it here.