Last summer I installed a small whiteboard on the wall of my bedroom/office, and it's proven invaluable for making story outlines, jotting down ideas, and making notes I know I'll only need for a while. At the moment, it's covered from top to bottom with notes on Son of the Shield. That should come as a surprise to no one, but this morning as I was dashing around trying to get ready for a trip to the used bookstore (Reason #1 I will never be a millionaire), I suddenly looked up at the whiteboard and noticed a recurring theme among my hastily scribbled melee of notes and ideas.
A few examples:
"...This will add a lot of depth and intrigue..."
"... you need to increase the intensity and emotion in this section..."
"... the readers need to feel the devastation..."
"... Make this part a chapter ending to make your readers freak out..."
Hmm. Well, if one were to draw a conclusion from my notes-to-self alone, I suppose it would be reasonable to assume I'm writing this novel just for the sake of torturing readers and dragging them to the brink of some kind of emotional breakdown. Let me make it clear right now that that is NOT my intent. If it were, I could accomplish it with much less trouble by simply dressing you all in wool socks and sweaters and throwing you into a pit filled with crushed-up Styrofoam peanuts... while playing Skillet CDs in chipmunk... and reading Amish romance aloud... and I'm sure you're beginning to get the picture. ; ) Truly, I'm not doing all this just to torture you guys. I'm just trying to tell a good story.
That being said...