After giving my "Plotting for Non-Plotters" workshop last Sunday, I managed to motivate myself enough to dive into the new WIP again. It had stagnated for a bit, and until I heard myself speak, I wasn't really sure why it was giving me trouble.
Bottom line. I was worried about plot instead of just writing. After demonstrating the use of my "idea board" to the group, I figured I ought to get out the Post-its and update mine.
And, as a reminder, my "idea" board is full of more than just ideas for possible scenes or plot threads. It's also full of questions and reminders. I don't plot much, but I do recognize the importance of tracking.
For example, on my current board, I've made notes that my hero (who was injured in some yet-to-be-determined cop incident) was injured, and that it's his right arm and left leg. I can refer to that in case I forget and have him favoring the wrong leg or rubbing the wrong shoulder.
This new book is in my Pine Hills Police universe. Although at the moment, Randy & Sarah aren't in the book (I sent them on a well-deserved honeymoon), the Pine Hill Police station is there, and it's populated with some familiar figures. One is Police Chief Laughlin, and when he wants to talk to one of his staff, he'll call them and say, "My office." That's been established in the other 2 books, so it stands to reason he's going to say it again in this one.
My hero in this book has just begun working for the PHPD, and not as a cop, but as a civilian due to his injuries. When he reports to the chief, and the chief summons another cop to show him around, my hero hears him give that command. It's normal, logical, and fits in with the story, and when I wrote it, that's about all the consideration I gave it. But then, since I was in my hero's head, I wondered how he heard it, so this was in the scene:
Laughlin … picked up his phone, punched a few buttons, then spoke. "My office."
Laughlin's tone was civil, but Scott had the feeling he didn't want to be on the receiving end of a summons when the man was in a bad mood.
Although I wasn't thinking beyond this scene when I wrote the above, upon my nightly re-read of the day's output, I flagged it, and it went onto a Post-it on my idea board. Because, somewhere down the line, my hero will have to hear those words, but this time they'll be directed at him.
Will it be a good thing or a bad thing? How should I know? I haven't written that far yet.
Come back tomorrow. I think we're going to China with my mom.