The best part of writing a fiction story is when the characters start to come to life in my mind. When that happens, I start to daydream about them— including their interactions, personalities, and conversations they might have with other characters. The magic really happens later on the page as I start to write it all down and the character starts to tell me their story from their point of view.
The daydreaming phase has started with Mercy’s Shore, book four in the Spencer Valley series, when I thought it might never come. This week I started to get to know Ben Oliver, the main character, better Now that we are getting a feel for each other, I’ll be able to tell his story.
It will take me a few more chapters before I really know Ben, obviously, but he’s starting to give me a peek at who he is, which he also did when I started to write a character biography for him a month or so ago.
Only through his actions, conversations, and interactions with those around him will I really find out who he is, though, and that will require me to just write.
As I write scenes begin to piece themselves together, other characters begin to show themselves, and conversations evolve from one piece of dialogue to the next as I imagine what one person would say and what the logical, or more interestingly, the more illogical response will be.
Before I know it, I’ll have Ben’s full story down on the page.
Now I just have to get to know Judi even better than I did in Harvesting Hope and add her story to the mix. Or maybe I’ll just stick with Ben telling the story. I plan to make that decision this weekend, but I have a feeling that Judi is the kind of person who isn’t going to let someone else tell her story. Not again that is. Ellie told it for the most part in Harvesting Hope. Now it’s Judi’s turn to speak out.
Now a little update for my blog readers on future plans for the Spencer Valley Chronicles:
As it stands now, I have (possible) plans for at least one more full-length novel and three novellas.
One novella will focus on the story of Molly’s grandparents Ned and Franny Tanner and will be historical in nature as we go back to when they first met.
Another novella will focus on the origin story of Robert and Annie, Molly’s parents.
A third novella will focus on Ginny and Stan Jefferies’ (you will learn more about them in Beauty From Ashes if you didn’t read the chapters on here) daughter Olivia and . . .well, you’ll have to wait to find out.
The full-length novel will feature Alex from The Farmer’s Daughter as the main character as he works through issues with his father, who, if you remember from The Farmer’s Daughter (spoiler if you have not read that) had been diagnosed with cancer.
I won’t give a time frame for when all these books and novellas will come out since I do have a couple of stand-alone books I am interested in writing in between.
I had considered writing a book about Spencer’s newspaper editor, Liam Finley, and I may still do that but I don’t know if I will include that book as part of the Spencer Valley Chronicles, or make it a separate, stand-alone novel. That story is starting to capture my attention more and more, probably because of my own background in newspapers and my current connection to them as well.
If you’ve been following along with these stories, what storyline most intrigues you? And are there stories of other characters you would like to see expanded on as well?