Consequence is the key. If you write enough books you will realise that no matter what you write, plot and character are not the only considerations. It is impotant to create a decision tree for your characters. This forces you to create consequences for the protagonists to make your story interesting. I always bang on about love being at the centre of quite literally everything I write and when you consider my titles, that might not at first seem to be the case but it’s true.
Love you see has the most impactful consequences. Whether it is first love, true love, familial, inappropriate, misguided, unrequited love or even the absence of love, once you set it in motion on a page there will be consequences. The damage is caused, the drama created, the hero revealed. It doesn’t matter the genre or style, love in some form and its consequences will lurk in the background. How writers reveal the story to the reader is where it all gets interesting. It is where we earn our crust.
Now that all sounds very easy but the truth is you need to establish the right circumstances to develop the most interesting consequence. Let me use my soon to be released fifth book Darkly Wood II The woman who never wore shoes as an example. It is a good example because Darkly Wood is far from the normal type of book in terms of style and genre, so it demonstrates that whether one writes a thriller, horror, sci-fi or indeed any type of tale, love and consequences are not only unavoidable, they are vital to the story.
The original Darkly Wood is a fairly well disguised love story despite the fact that you need to leave the lights on when you read it. But while Darkly Wood deals with first love, it is not a traditional love story as the reader is constantly pulled away from that which is at the heart of the book, by what I hope is a wonderful array of distractions in the forms of side stories. It is a truly dark and twisting book and I wanted to really surprise the reader. In the sequel, love rears its head again only this time the book is filled with different kinds of love, familial love and unrequited love to begin with.
In truth I have layered the book with all kinds of love. There is absence, true love, and unrequited love, fear of love, love for family, selfish love, selfless love and sacrificial love. Of course the book is part of the Darkly Wood series so the reader will have to dig deep to see it all, because screaming across the frontal cortex of their brains will be the fear and tension of what creeps and crawls with you through the journey of the book.
From my perspective as a writer I like to keep things simple while I never like to make things too obvious. In the book I have inked to life a particularly awful individual, someone far darker and more terrifying than anyone in the original Darkly Wood. He was a huge challenge to write because of how he works his way through the book. Much like Darkly Wood, in the sequel there are other peripheral stories that appear, but they are far more connected to the central story this time. The pace is quicker and the theme is even darker but always it is very much about consequences.
In Darkly Wood, the reader discovers a multitude of events and characters with one central connection, Darkly Wood itself. There are consequences for everything that they do and that theme is expanded upon and made clearer in the second book as the connecting thread is one very special person. I have very deliberately painted with sharper strokes to highlight how everything that we do has consequences. Even the smallest of things, decisions and things we don’t consider too much, can dramatically change our lives.
The joy I felt when I finished writing this book was akin to relief. It was such an enormous challenge because I have a deep affection for the original Darkly Wood and I wanted to do it justice when I wrote the follow up. I hope I have.
I know fans of the first book have been waiting patiently for the sequel which was delayed through my own personal health challenges last year, but I am pleased to say the wait is almost over. When I hit publish for this article, the next thing I will publish is Darkly Wood II The woman who never wore shoes. The wait is almost over. Darkness is coming…
If you haven’t discovered the journey that is Darkly Wood yet, you can find it at the link below..
Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Larry Flynn Bad Blood and Little Big Boy
You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –
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