I am constantly amazed at how the human brain works. When first started thinking about a second Peacekeeper novel I had no idea where it was going to lead. I wanted to build a more detailed picture of Tom Wilks and I was sure that his relationship with Lashpa would play a pivotal roll. As I thought about different story lines, the plot began to gel until I had something I could work with. It wasn't firm and I had no idea where the book would go but I started writing. As I wrote, more details filled themselves in and the novel's major challenge took shape--seemingly all by itself. It's the subconscious at work
Here's an example; Early in the writing process for Peacekeeper 2 an idea popped into my head. It was incomplete and went something like this -- A lone survivor is found in space. He has witnessed something so upsetting that he has closed himself off from the rest of the world. -- That was it. I had no idea what the event was but I wanted to use this. I do a lot of thinking while in the shower and while I'm trying to fall asleep. One day, while taking a shower, I was playing around with this idea and the perfect solution popped into my head. The solution created other problems for the story but as time went on the details were ironed out and a solid plot developed.
This is how a SOP (Seat Of the Pants) author works. If I were an outliner, I would still be thinking about the plot and working on the outline. Not a single word would be written. A year or so from now, the outline would be finished and I could start writing. But that's not how I work. I love it when a story seems to write itself. One of the things that continually blows my mind is how a little detail early in a story can reappear later on and become suddenly very important. A small factoid presented in chapter 3 can become a pivotal point in chapter 38. These events are not planned--the story writes itself and sometimes even I'm surprised at the result. I love it.
If anyone reading this post has something to offer concerning Peacekeeper 2, please let me know. I love the feedback. I will respond.