The story finally stopped long enough for the snowplows to clear the roads.  Still pretty icy.  Sun’s not likely to do much to dry out the sidewalks today!

I officially started on Dice Ford 2 (which actually does have a title, but I’m not telling). 

First step was to figure out the basic timeline of when the story starts in relation to the first one.  I’m borrowing from J.D. Robb here.  Most series have a book that comes out once a year, so it assumes a year has passed.  J.D. Robb’s In-Depth series has about 50 books, has been running for 20+ years, and only 3 years have passed story time.  So I wanted to make sure my timeline worked where it started.

I created a calendar in Excel—nothing fancy—and plugged in the dates of the last book and the time in between before the new book starts.

After that, I jumped into the deep end by working on the “hidden story.” This is what you can’t see happening on the page.  I use it to identify what the villain is doing while the heroine is doing a scene to keep that connection in my head.

My creative side slipped into connecting the characters in this story to the last story.  You know, things like how did they react after the dust settled.

This is the first time I’ve done anything like this before, so we’ll see if anything survives first contact with the story.  Two possible new characters emerged.  I just gave them generic placeholder names for the purpose of this.  No sense in trying to chase down names until I’m sure they’ll be in the story (though one almost certainly will).

Also a lesson learned from when I did the copy edits.  I need to nail down what new characters look like in my head so I have the tools for the tags (character tags, not dialogue tags).  My creative side hated adding those after the story was done!

My deadline for the first 20K is January 31.  I had 1K for this session.