Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Kevin, Lisa, and Dale

I've started to SLOWLY work on a sequel to The Dead Are Online.

Today I did some work on my Aussie characters.

In the last book, I had an American expat living in Parramatta, along with her Aussie husband and Aussie child. Then I had an Australian, from Melbourne, going to school in Florida.

In the next book, I plan to have more Melbourne characters. Well, actually they're all connected to the Florida student. I'm going to have her parents (Lisa and Dale) as characters, and a neighbor (Kevin) as another character. Kevin will also spend some time in Halls Gap.

I actually had Halls Gap characters in the previous book, but I cut them out because a) I already had too many characters b) I couldn't get them to really do anything. I decided to revive those characters for the sequel, but I'm going to switch around the point of view character.

See...for each setting, I usually have a point of view character, and then the other people (of whom you don't get to know their thoughts).  So Mary used to be the point of view character for Halls Gap, and now I'm going to switch it to Kevin. But Mary will still be around. We just won't know what she's thinking...well, unless Kevin ends up being clairvoyant like Edward Cullen.

Today I picked out a tentative suburb for Lisa, Dale, and Kevin. My plan was to look at Statcounter and pick a suburb from one of my visitors.

This morning I had someone from Yarraville. I checked it out and decided it might work. I looked at various streets and decided on Oven Street.  The problem is I want my characters to have lived on the street for a pretty long time...since the late 1990's. I don't know what the street looked like back then.  It doesn't really matter, at least not for readers of the book. I don't plan to have a ton of detailed flashbacks.

But I still like to know. I'm picky about things like that.

I'm thinking I can maybe not name the street in the book. I'll know it, but the reader doesn't need to know. I think that's what I did with the first book. I mention some main streets, but I don't mention the small streets in which the characters actually reside.

Yeah. That's what I'll do. This way I won't write about my characters living on Oven Street in the 1990s; then have someone tell me there were no houses there back then.

One thing I learned about Yarraville is they don't have a high school. I thought Australians call it Secondary school, but it seems I was wrong. I saw some websites using the term "high school"

I'm thinking maybe they call it high school because they have a movement called SKYHigh.  The S, K, and Y stand for a group of western suburbs wanting a high school. The Y is for Yarraville. But anyway, SKYHigh sounds better than SKYSecondary School.

No. I'm wrong. High School IS sometimes used in Australia, and not just in the SKY area.  This government website says, School education in Australia includes preschool, preparatory (or kindergarten), primary school, secondary school (or high school) and senior secondary school (or college).

Wait. Again! I'm looking more closely. The website is geared towards getting foreign folks to come and study in Australia. Some of those foreign folks might use the word high school.  The Aussie government might be using certain words that are easier for non-Australians to understand.

Let's move on from that.

Another thing I learned about Yarraville is they have problems with trucks going through the neighborhood. I'm not sure if I'll make that part of my novel. Maybe? Who knows. It could end up being a main plot point.

I'm going to need to find careers for my Melbourne people.

They're not wealthy, but nor are they in poverty. They had enough money to send their daughter to the US, but they don't have enough money to visit her or fly her home on a frequent basis.

All this being said...I don't know if I'm actually going to write a sequel. It's been a yes, no, yes, no, maybe, yes, no type thing for the last several weeks. But then I decided I'll at least do the research and plan to write the book. Because that's a lot of fun. Then I'll either drop it or write it.

At first I was going to make external rules that would dictate whether or not I write the book.  For example, I might say I won't write a sequel unless I sell at least 50 copies of the first book. But I made that mistake with this blog. It hurt me both ways. One time my stupid rule made me write blog posts when I really didn't want to be writing blog posts. Another time, it prevented me from writing blog posts when I wanted to be writing them.

So if I want to write the sequel, I will write the sequel even if there's been little interest or love for the first book. If I don't want to write a sequel, I won't write it...even if my book becomes a huge bestseller.

Yeah. But either way I'm going to be spending time in Yarraville with Kevin, Lisa, and Dale.  Plus Halls Gap. That will be fun for me.

I also will be spending time in London and Atlanta.

My London character is going to be a lepidopterist. If you don't know what that is, I'll give you a hint: John Gorton the butterfly was my inspiration for coming up with that.

One more thing: One of the things that made me not want to write a sequel is I couldn't think of a good title. Well, it's not like I tried very hard.  But anyway. I didn't even want to think of sequel titles. I had a hard enough time coming up with the title for the first book.  Then I decided I will probably just name it The Dead Are Online II.  No, it's not very brilliant, but if it works for movie sequels, why not books? And you know what, I hate when I'm at the library and I'm struggling to figure out what book is first, second, third, fourth, etc. The use of roman numerals would save me a lot of frustration.