‘We don’t like men of your fiber, Freer.’
“Yer don’t like my clothes? What wrong with ’em?”
“Actually, I just don’t like you.”
Dialogue writes itself, sometimes. Especially when the writer knows the characters. This of course can play havoc with your planned plot line. I have an irritating character doing precisely this to me right now. This is particularly annoying because I am reaching the point of the book where all the threads start to come together. The last thing I need is a few more threads. It seems, however, that the book does.
So: there we go. Another errant thread, needing to be chased up and tied down (they are rather like kangaroos). Maybe it is just a feature of my writing style, but I think I can define my stories as beginning with maybe two threads, which simply expand into more and more fibers – which I then spend the last 2/3 of the book weaving together, tying a few off along the way, and back-threading others, until the end where, being me I like them all tied off.
Oh what of the sequels? I think I only ever wrote one book with the absolute intent of a sequel – DRAGON’S RING — which probably would have survived without one. But for me anyway, people always seem to want to know just what happened next, or what happened to those characters – despite this story being wrapped up. I’m damned if I’ll leave threads hanging for a sequel. I don’t know. Am I wrong? you tell me. I would feel cheated if I read a book that left me part way without an adequate end, at least to that part. And, of course, being the kind of guy I am, I like all the threads to tie up…
But there are often a lot of them, which leaves my head feeling very crowded at times. I tend to note each one down at the live end:
‘Need to give away that Arthur organized for Aunt.‘
‘Round-tripping letter, add mentions‘
‘If of course we were to murdered in the breakfast parlor, I might not have a poker to hand. I might be forced to take after them with a fish.’
Which, if I suddenly dropped dead, and my sons decided to finish the book would possibly help, but more likely confuse.
So: what process do you use? Because I really need to refine mine. Maybe get some new fibers, so they like me.