Arriving at a point in writing my novel in progress, as always, when I want to skip to the parts that intrigue me the most. Nothing wrong with doing that, I know, for I can always go back and write what I've skipped, but I truly feel in my heart it's best to write characters in order as the plot unfolds. You know what I mean, jelly bean? Continuity?
Like I've said many times, I don't outline, refuse to do that, but I vaguely know where the turning points are, the 180s, and the jumps back and forth between one character's story and the other. In my novels usually I have two stories going at the same time, two female main characters, and then at one point the two characters meet. Rachel O'Neill, of course, my main protagonist in my novels, has her story going on, and then there's the second female - who in the present novel is Jessica. We also have the sub-characters and sub-stories connected to each of the two main characters. Lot of drama going on, romance, suspense, some really bad stuff and of course the good stuff - in this novel rape and the Las Vegas scene comes into play, the New York mob, and Homeland Security is brought in with a big hunky Air Force type to die for (had a dream about him which prompted this part of my story, unbelievable how that happens!).
I think I mentioned on my blog, maybe a year ago or so, that I didn't come up with the idea for the Jessica story by myself this time, and it was going to be a novel of its own at first. Trish and I were in Port Isaac, Cornwall UK, and we met two very interesting, fun, and pleasant couples - sisters and their husbands. Over drinks we came up with a plot of a young girl from the U.S. in Port Issac on holiday, what got her there from North Carolina to Las Vegas via New York City and what happened after that. The name Jessica itself is taken from one of the British sisters' grandaughters. I promised her I'd name the girl Jessica. I feel the names are very important, names have to feel right for my characters, and Jessica feels right, you'll see.
Back to what I was saying, the lead up in a novel is the trickiest, getting the two protagonists to their meeting place. And believe me, sometimes they come from totally opposite ends of the world and of life, always actually: 1) Belinda from London to Cornwall; 2) Shellie from Marina del Rey CA to Paris; 3)Amanda all the way from Arkansas via Bakersfield to Belgium; 4) Della from Oklahoma via New York City to Moscow; 5) Allegra from Montana to Malibu.
In this one Jessica is twenty-one when they meet and Rachel is now in her fifties (yes, Rachel is aging, lol lol, in realtime). So right off the bat I had to find something they would have in common so they would meet without it feeling far-fetched. No problem there, got it figured out. It's the timeline that's giving me fits. In order to tell Jessica's story adequately, I've begun with her at age twelve writing her up to the present of twenty-one. So of course her story must open the novel. Rachel's story comes in at Part Two continuing from the previous novels in the present. This novel will have six parts, whereas usually my novels have three or four parts, so this is a departure.
My dilemma is getting to that point of meeting without jumping ahead of myself. In other words filling in the gaps as I go. I've got Jessica up to the age of nineteen, the first leg of her story, Part One, and have skipped to Part Two where Rachel's story this time around begins . . . without finishing Part One. I know I know, confusing. But I'll sort it all out. Laying down the plot is always the hardest part for me. But when I finish, it will be seamless - my goal. And an easy read.
Just felt like telling you how it's coming along ... sometimes when I put my thoughts on 'paper' it helps to sort it all out. And you know what? It just did. This helped. Thanks for lending me your ear, uh, your eyes.
Have a good one ...