Killer Year–The Class of 2007


My Second Book
January 28, 2007, 9:40 pm
Filed under: Dave White, Killer Year Members

That’s right ladies and gentlemen, I’m jumping ahead a year… to “Killer Year 2: This time it’s personal!” (Or, “Sophmore Year: We’ll shove you in a locker!”)

I’m hard at work on my second novel, currently titled WHISPER TO THEIR SOULS.

I’m a little more than halfway through it, trying to get on another roll and just burn through the last third. So far that roll hasn’t come, but it will. While I’m buying time I’m definitely pumping out between 800-1500 words a day. The book has been through a lot (I got the idea for it over 2 years ago) and while the general idea has remained the same for it, the style has changed.

I’m trying to push myself a little, writing from multiple viewpoints, looking at the story from different character’s eyes. It’s an interesting process and much different from my experience writing the first book. I like the way it’s going so far. I like the story I’m telling, but for a while I was rolling around looking for a motive for my antagonist and a central theme.

In the past week, I think I’ve found both. And it’s interesting how I didn’t expect either to come the moment they did.

The idea for the motive came when I was standing outside a bar in a darkened corner of Bayonne, over looking the Bayonne Bridge which leads to Staten Island. It’s such an interesting area, and near where I was already writing about. My friend started to give me some history on the area and it just clicked together. It was exciting and I really wanted to start writing right there. (Unfortunately I had to be fitted for a tuxedo, so the writing didn’t happen until the next day.)

Then last night, I found the theme. I was listening to the new Decemberists album and found a song called “Sons and Daughters.” (Lyrics on my own blog). The song drives everything the book is about home, bombs, families, and rebuilding your own life after tragedy has struck. And it has a driving rhythm which, I feel, stirs the listener emotionally. I could almost picture the final scene of the novel in my head with that music playing over it.

The process of writing is so very intersting to me. I love thinking about how the process works, what makes things click together.

So what about you other writers? Do you have any intersting stories about how you got the idea for your novel? Or something that struck you which you just had to write about?

Has any song stirred you so much that it completely changed the direction of something you’re writing about?

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9 Comments so far
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An exhibition of Sydney police photos from 1911-1938 inspired me so much I threw away the novel I was working on and spent a couple of months figuring out a way to use the material.

But I didn’t want to write a novel set in the past, so it wasn’t until I was looking up ancient Sumerian mythology that I came across a way to link the past to the present.

That one visit to the exhibition moved me from writing a comedy/mystery to a supernatural crime thriller.

On the subject of music, Portishead’s sophomore effort is the album I’m using to recalibrate my mood before writing. Since most of my writing is done during my lunch hour at work, it’s a great way to get me into the story’s voice and headspace quickly.

Comment by Daniel Hatadi

Dave, I use music to create the atmosphere for my novels, definitely. Though I’m more of a classical person when it comes to writing with noise — I can’t seem to do lyrics.
Now, there is my Green Day song. Every time I hear it, something good happens.
Great post, man!

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