I’ve been not-working on the sequel to Lincoln, Fox and the Bad Dog for several months now. I think it was in August that my brain finally started to clear from publishing LFBD in February of 2016, giving it space to start chewing on the themes for the next one.

I had a working title (The Inversion Mechanic), based on some stuff that happens in the book, but I never really liked it. “Lincoln, Fox and the Bad Dog” is admittedly an odd title, and I didn’t feel that TIM was sufficiently unique. I wanted them to be different, but to match in strangeness.

In trying to take my own writing advice (see Writing a Novel: Part 1) I resolved that I wouldn’t even start plotting until I had the three recommended attributes. I mean, I had some very broad strokes in mind for the plot, but no details. The three things, if you’ll remember, are:

  1. Memorable or interesting character
  2. An idea that sparks the imagination
  3. Some scenes that are awesome/will stick with the reader

I already had #1. Lincoln, Fox and Babd are all interesting. Gwen is back. Some other folks from LFBD are dead, so they’re not coming back. Char plays a much bigger role, and we meet some new people, good and bad.

I’d also already come up with a couple of new things for #2. Big ideas that will be interesting when they are introduced and that will play an increasingly important role as we move through the longer story.

It was #3 that I was sticking on. It was tough. Without detailed ideas about the plot, I was finding it difficult to visualize the arresting moments and cool images. Of course, trying to do it that way was stupid, and doubly stupid because that’s not even how you do that and I know it. It’s easy to forget things.

What I needed to do was to look around me and find things that sparked my imagination outside of the context of my story and characters. That’s the kind of stuff I’ll be able to write about with passion. An image that comes to you after a random train of thought. The thought of “No! That’s not the way to do it!” when watching/reading someone else’s work and they almost land it, but not quite. Stuff like that.

I’ve managed to collect a nice handful since then. So I think I’m ready.

Buy Lincoln, Fox and the Bad Dog on Amazon.com right now, or get the first half for free right here if you're still on the fence (.epub download to read in iBooks, Google Play Books, etc.)

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