Bad to the Bone

I’ve been around long enough to know that some people are Bad to the Bone. There is nothing redeeming about them at all. I’ve written a few characters like that over the years. I’m sure AD Owen liked puppies the way Cruella de Vil liked puppies. (Byte reference for those who don’t know who Owen is.)
Mostly though people have something inside them that makes you think they’re not all bad. Same with characters. (Apart from Owen, she’s rotten all the way through as far as Ellie is concerned and I couldn’t find anything that redeemed her either. Might not have looked too hard though.)

This morning I was thinking about working on the other new work (Life in the Leaves), it’s a massive departure from my comfort zone. My comfort zone, as you probably know, is firmly anchored in law enforcement of one type or another. The Byte Series was FBI based (I felt all warm and snuggly writing that series). [Nothing happens here] and [Lure the Lie] are PI/Spy based and set at home … not quite as comfy for me but not a complete departure from my lane either. And I know that the more time I spend in that world the more comfortable I will be. Also, I have some wonderful support on hand to steer me in the right direction with all the spy stuff. So, that helps!
But, right now, [Lure the Lie] is done and off with my lovely editor. [Nothing happens here] launches on Feb 3. And I’m looking at Life in the Leaves again. I know I can write this book. It requires a lot less from me mentally compared to FBI or Spy based works. The struggle comes from not having a bad guy.
There is no bad guy.
There is no one about to let a virus loose or blow up D.C. or steal diamonds to fund a terror cell. There is no child trafficking ring to break up, no string of murders to solve, and no one has been kidnapped!
Fuck me.
I have left my lane, folks. Didn’t even indicate.
Just to add to that departure … yesterday I outlined the whole fucking book.
Uh huh, me, the pantser who makes notes as she goes and somehow magically stores all the zillion plot threads in her weird brain … OUTLINED. As I was writing a chapter by chapter outline (yeah, it’s not even as loose as a half-arsed logline tacked to the top of a page), I remembered why I dislike outlines … if I know how a book ends I don’t want to write it. What’s the point? I already know. No surprise = no fun.
For whatever reason, that doesn’t bother me with this one. Perhaps it’s because I’ve left my comfort zone, veered across several lanes and am careening toward the open ocean. I don’t know. But it doesn’t bother me to write this story from an outline, and I don’t even think it’ll change much.
There is no bad guy to screw things up.
There is of course plenty of conflict (because something clearly MUST happen and it’s something I’m writing so several things are going to happen).
Today’s plan is to get on with some writing. I’m only 6K into this story. I do like my characters, a lot. So, that’s a bonus.

Right, let’s get on with January then, shall we?


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