*thanks to Louise Fitzhugh via Harriet the Spy. Tomato sandwiches and all.
I’m trying to plan out a plotline for a sequel to A Spell For Destruction, my ‘gay-wizard up to no good with a dodgy ex-boyfriend and his new fiancee’ title. (That’s a sub-genre, right? I think that’s a whole sub-genre in itself.)
(Just a plotline. I’m still hacking away at my wolf trilogy-tetralogy-quintet etc. That’s the one that’s getting actual words added to it, instead of just me doodling mind-maps and making lists of character traits, and places on the ballpoint-pen map where the main characters can shag like bunnies. Em, not bunnies. Or a bunny and a wolf. Which is probably a risky combo.)
Now, a title is easy – A Spell For Creation, right? Well, probably. Or on the other hand possibly not. But it’ll do as a placeholder for the time being.
The title’s not a problem. Forget the title. But the plot might be a little bit of a problem. Thing is, I thought I was being terribly clever with the first book in the series. In which Pell – he’s the warlock-one – is hired by his old boyfriend, to check out that his new fiancée is absolutely legit and on the level.
(Pretty harsh, right? To hire your old love for that, doing the magical private dick thing and private investigatoring all over the new flame’s past history? But on the other hand, Pell is very good at what he does, and he’s totally over Stephen. Or so he tells himself.)
I won’t give away the whole thing – you’ll need to read the actual book for that! But suffice it to say, that what appears to be going on here isn’t what’s actually occurring. There’s unseen motivations, hunters who are actually prey, and a narrator who hasn’t got access to the true facts of the situation…
Which leads, naturally, to a cliffhanger ending, and a sudden switch in the power balance and relationship statuses.
Cliffhanger endings! Undisclosed last-minute surprises! Because readers are going to go for that, right?
Well. Readers have a right to their reactions. (LOL, as if they don’t know that already.) And it’s the first book in a series of either two or three – haven’t quite figured that out yet. So I figured I could fix it up and justify the machinations of the characters and the emotional development via – HEY LOOK AT THAT DINOSAUR OVER THERE! THE ONE IN POLKA DOTS!
Well, via some chicanery, a few further plot twists, and the hidden stew of feelings of the apparently unmoved and unloving narrator, that’s what.
Yeah, easy to shrug off some sharp reviews, when your struggles with a sequel are relegated to some distant spot in the future. Except, now it’s time to at least have a tussle with the plot outline for A Spell For Destruction II! And I’m not laughing anymore!
So wish me luck, because I’m sharpening my 2A pencils, furiously scribbling away at dozens of mind-maps with convoluted arrows shooting off in every direction, and writing down lists of major plot points that leave yawning gulfs of WHAT THE HELL HAPPENS HERE? in the middle. From underpants to profits, in 92 easy steps!
Image – Thomas Ingoldsby, no known copyright restrictions.