Saturday, May 26, 2012

Callinan Shares About Writing - Developing New Character...

Plotting my new Mike Delaney thriller
Although I say it myself, the character of Mike Delaney could have the attributes of a long standing fictional kickass hero. At least, I would like to think so. But he is more than a lookalike Jack Reacher or Jason Bourne. I deliberately sculpted the character of this Irish-American tough guy with a conscience to include what could be described as metaphysical, philosophical and spiritual elements.
This didn't prove to be as straightforward as it seemed at the outset. The immediate result of this personality shaping was to throw up all kinds of conflicts; his hopefully serious pledge to never kill another human being while being inevitably thrust into life and death situations.
In the first book, The Immortality Plot, the bad guy or antagonist was an equally powerful character; a transvestite killer with a narcissistic nature and a teddy bear fixation. I just couldn't bear to get rid of Lucius Gynt at the end of the book. So, rather like the one-armed man in 'The Fugitive', Hannibal Lecter or Sherlock Holmes's Moriarty, I decided to bring him back as Delaney's nemesis in another book.
But, should that be the follow up book or another book down the line? 

I struggled with this question and I still am.
My first instinct was to write a different story and then revisit Lucius Gynt in book three and that is what I have been doing. But I am still not certain I am right.
The book I am working on is tentatively titled 'Good Girl Bad Girl' set in the US and in Ireland. In fact, I have set a section of the action in the city where I was conceived but not brought up; the city where my parents were born, grew up and emigrated from to the UK. The city of 'Angela's Ashes': Limerick.

I am using for the first time a book writing program called Scrivener and it is proving to be very valuable as a way of keeping everything together. I have also created a new bad guy that has me writhing in my seat as I write: Oswald Dante, a bookseller, poisoner who keeps his preserved and adored mother in a sepulchre.
Although I tend to let my imagination and my characters take me where they will, with a thriller as intricate as this one that needs to appear simple on the surface, I find I need to do a lot of plotting and research. I am now on the last third of the plot where I need to extricate Delaney from some impossible situations and hold the reins of half-a-dozen plot threads before weaving the climax.
Wish me luck.

1 comment:

  1. Wishing you luck. Sounds intriguing.
    Just for reference, my son is annoyed by the TV series bringing Moriarty back so quickly--felt he needed a break.