I am terrible at planning. I’ve said this before, but no matter how detailed a plan of a book I write, within a couple of chapters, I’ll have veered away from it into the dim and mysterious shadow lands of improvisation. Hell, ironing out those gaps is what editing is for, right?
Of course, occasionally that means I’ll write myself into a corner and it will take me a while to get myself out of it.
In the case of The Delta Children, that first roadblock has hit me about 20k words in. Id managed to get all my characters into a reasonable position to start a conflict, but the catalyst for that conflict was being distinctly unforthcoming.
Thankfully, my old adage of a jigsaw puzzle became appropriate again. I was sitting in work, and my brain woke up from its week-long state of fuzziness and began pelting me with ideas like a kid pelts a house with eggs on Halloween.
So, the ideas were there, but then came the necessity of getting them down on the page. I wasn’t sure how to get the whole world turned against the Deltas, but inspiration came from one of my wifes TV habits.
Bex watches the news pretty religiously, and more specifically in this case, she watches Channel 4 news. C4 news is hosted by thr legendary Jon Snow, (no, not that one. This one knows plenty,) and the presenters tend to have a rather… Combative style when it comes to interviewing government figures.
So, taking a leaf from their book, I wrote an extensive scene of an interview between a news presenter and a government representative dealing with the fallout of the Deltas escape. It was a pretty difficult scene to write, mainly becausw it is all dialogue. There was no quantifying action or statements in between the speeches, it basically reads like a transcript of the dialogue between the reporter and the government rep.
I’m actually really happy with the scene, enough that I may revisit the characters further down the line in the book. It was a definite challenge, and one that I enjoyed immensely, but more importantly, it will lead straight into the setup for the next major event of the book.
And that is something thats going to be straight out of the James Herbert side of the playbook.