Running Near Boston

For New Englanders, especially for those in Massachusetts, it’s hard to believe the Boston Marathon was just starting at this time a week ago. It feels like we’ve had weeks packed into the past seven days with all the events.

Last week, I wrote a column for my paper in Virginia trying to explain Marathon Monday to those who’ve never experienced it. But as the week played out, and as I drove up to Franklin for a planned visit home, I was reminded of a conversation Kyrie and I had while I was working on Thrown Out.

Kyrie was arguing it wasn’t realistic to have so many characters who run. She said most people don’t run. I disagreed, though I did concede Chris probably wasn’t a runner. Still, a lot of the characters in Exeter do run, or have run in the past. As I thought back over the insanity of the last week, I realized that the Marathon has a lot to do with that. Around here, more people do run. The Marathon and its influence gives running a higher profile than it has in other places. Its legendary status in the world of road running, thanks to the qualifying times, means that running Boston says something about a person. And that, in turn, means that when you grow up around Boston, you think about running the Marathon someday. To do that, you have to start running. And so we run.




Create your characters from different moulds

Roz does a great job talking about how to make characters distinct.

Nail Your Novel

58671977_0e83de32ff_zI’m somewhat preoccupied with characters as I’m finishing NYN 2: Bring Characters To Life. I’ve recently read two novels with several main characters – one that made them real and the other that didn’t. I thought it would be interesting to compare the key differences.

The former is Ruth Rendell’s The Keys To The Street, which uses several points of view, all with their own internal identity. The shaky one is The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas. It follows eight separate people but they all sound exactly the same.

Briefly, The Keys To The Street is about a handful of characters in Regent’s Park, London, whose lives intersect over one summer. The Slap begins as an extended family gathers for a suburban barbeque. One of the children gets out of hand and one of the other parents gives it a slap. There is uproar and the novel explores the…

View original post 768 more words

Characters Drive Plot: We Are Exeter Update

If you’ve been watching the progress meter in the sidebar, you know I’m almost done profiling the selection of Exeter characters who will appear in We Are Exeter. 🙂 For me, there have been a lot of unexpected bonuses in doing these.

WAE listI knew I’d get a chance to dig into characters I’d thought of for various stories, such as another classmate of Dan, Evan and Liz who returns to Exeter. You’ll see her in a short story at some point this year.

I knew I’d have a chance to flesh out characters who will appear in Books 2, 3 and 4 but weren’t much more than a name before I sat down to work on this.

I didn’t realize that a character I thought I was done with would insist on showing me, through that character’s answers to the questions in the Q&A portion, that this character’s not done. Far from it. The repercussions of the role this character is demanding are going to resonate throughout Exeter.

I still have eight of the 27 profiles to polish off — my project for today, at least until it’s time to go enjoy corned beef and cabbage. (I must admit, I’ve never had them.) Who knows what surprises will show up in the remaining eight profiles?

Coming Soon: We Are Exeter

That mystery March release I mentioned the other day? As newsletter readers know, it’s We Are Exeter, a collection of profiles of the characters in Exeter, written by Exeter Ledger editor CJ Jenkins.

Some of these character profiles you might have seen: they’re in the Exeter Ledger section of this site. And you’ve met many of the characters in either Thrown Out, even though their profiles haven’t been available anywhere. But you’ll also get a chance to meet other characters who haven’t yet appeared in any published Exeter works. Yet, obviously, is the key word. If you like reading tea leaves — or devouring spoilers for your favorite shows — you’ll find some intriguing bits of information to speculate upon in many of these profiles. More details and the cover reveal will be coming soon. For now, I’m focusing on polishing off the last of the profiles.

Which Exeter characters are you looking forward to learning more about?

Keeping the Author Honest

I did some blog housekeeping today, and one of the things I’ve added is a progress meter for my various Exeter projects over in the right sidebar. You’ll notice the March one is deliberately vague — newsletter subscribers will find out the details Tuesday. Everybody else will find out in about 10 days. You’ll be able to buy it starting March 31.

The April story, though, is one I’ve already mentioned, so no secrets there. If you’ve been wondering exactly how Dan and Chris met, you’ll get your answer April 29. The biggest question mark on that one is the length. I put my best guess down there, but the last time I predicted a story would be 15,000 words, it was my first NCIS fanfic which ended up being novel-length. So we’ll see…

As I start digging into more projects, I’ll add more tickers so you can see how much progress I’m making. Heckling and nagging are always welcome. Now, off to the coffee shop to get some new words down on paper…

New Faces Coming to Exeter

I wrote about 3,000 words today on an Exeter project that should be available at the end of the month (ebook only). I knew this was going to involve a couple of characters who had only been referenced in unpublished pieces up to this point, and they weren’t much more than names. One of them just came to life as I was working on that section! So much so, in fact, that I’m pretty sure she’s going to end up taking a main role in a story at some point.

I’m digging back into the project now, and I’ll have more details about it coming in a week or two.

The deleted 1991 scenes I mentioned the other day will start going out this week, so if you’re not already on the mailing list, please take a minute and sign up. It’s the only way you’re going to get to read these “missing” All That Is Necessary scenes.

Also, while my fiction schedule is always subject to the demands of the paper — between state basketball playoffs and a rare March snowstorm, this was a particularly crazy news week — I have the next four Exeter releases scheduled, one per month in March, April, May and June. Newsletter subscribers will get a sneak peek at the March one with this week’s deleted scene. Everybody else will find out closer to the release date. (Yes, there are benefits to subscribing to the newsletter.)

All That Is Necessary on The Bookcast

bookcastI’m over at The Bookcast today talking with Bill about All That Is Necessary, Exeter and just what happens when past and future collide. As always, Bill does a great interview, and it was fun to be on the other end of the questions for a change. He and I also talked after Thrown Out was published, and you can see that interview (and one with Roz Morris) down the bottom of the page.