Well, you knew it wouldn’t be long, didn’t you? Today I officially started working on the chapter outlines for We Are Watching. Far earlier than I had intended, but what can you do? Addicted I may well be, but at least I have something positive to show for it!
So, what progress have I made? Well, I have my beginning. Three single spaced pages of notes for chapter one (Times New Roman 20 point)… so far! It begins in a completely different place than I had originally anticipated and — wouldn’t you know? — my protagonist Austin Wright has been renamed Charles Rigg! When I saw him… well, he just looked like a Charles, you know? Not a Charlie, mind. No, he definitely isn’t a Charlie — proper or otherwise. Charles fits him, funnily enough, even when he has his hand around his best friend’s throat, pinning him to the kitchen table (which is where we find him at the beginning of the novel.)
Details apart, however, my overwhelming feeling upon starting to get everything discovered, shaped and outlined was one of excitement at doing something so different to my last project. As much as I enjoyed writing Children of the Resolution, it was by its very nature restrictive. When you’re writing about a bunch of disabled kids experiencing the dawn of integrated education in the 1970s/1980s, there’s only so much that you can allow yourself to do. Electric wheelchairs aren’t quite speedy enough for convincing “car chases” and Johnny and Carl’s fight in chapter four was never about to become Kill Bill volume 1 or volume 2. We Are Watching… okay, so I probably won’t take it to those extremes. But I will at least be able to build some action packed scenes — something with fluidity, tension, a sense of threat, all the good stuff. The stuff that I hadn’t realised I’d missed so much!
Incidentally, does anyone know what police missing persons procedure (in the UK) is? Charles’s wife “disappears”. He gets it into his head that she has been abducted (he’s unclear about who by), but all of her clothes and possessions have been taken, too. How seriously would such an incident — given that there is no history of domestic violence, or anything else, for that matter — be taken? I tend to think, not very. Formalities followed, but little else?
[EDIT: For further details on police missing persons procedure in the UK, click here.]