Mar. 24, 2013


is my half-finished novel about the civil war in Guatemala. A war that set hemispheric records for terror and genocide and one that occurred out of sight during my own life time. It was the images of Jean Marie Simon taken during that period that got my attention; those, combined with living now in Central America. Candyman first appeared in the unpublished novel, "El Peon," as a sub-plot but he would not leave me alone. None of my characters ever really leave. Just this morning I was reading Jannette Turner Hospital (Due Preparations for the Plague,"), and one them came rolling back into mind. Guito should have feelings like that, I thought. And a few minutes later, he did.

I love my characters, all of them. And my intuition is explore them first and let the plot follow. But only rarely does it, easily anyway. So... I turned to Larry Brooks' example of a novel in nine points. He outlined the struture of Hunger Games.  I sat down to see if I could do the same using only the story in my mind and his example. OMG!

My g.mother would have said, "Lo, and behold!", I have a plot. 

Not only did I have one, but I had just enough structure to start the scenes flowing.  In a few hours I had close to a hundred scenes outlined with ideas for another 20 or so. This novel may make its self-imposed deadline of July yet.