I had good progress today on In Flight, though nothing I could count. Spent part of the day hauling and shoving at two pieces of Chapter 1 that didn't want to join up. I had a couple of scribbled variations, and I finally just started building it from sentence fragments until it started to flow.
Which is something odd that happens sometimes. Sometimes you write with a beautiful mystical flow, only to find that that your prose is actually lumbering along like Frankenstein's monster -- feeling all kluged and uneven. Other times, you'll hammer and pound and force a bunch of odd bits together.... and it dances like Fred Astaire.
The rest of the day -- aside from the usual shopping and the less usual dodging of manic junior cheerleaders who have descended on campus for some sort of camp or competition -- I had some rather pleasant insights in to the next TWO Starling and Marquette stories. On Book 3 (The Man Who Stepped Up) I finally figured out that there is an identity switcheroo. This opens up some possibilities that I had been longing for.
On the current book (Book 2 or The Man Who Ran Away) I had an inspiration that came from Book 1. I'm doing the paper edition this summer, and thinking about doing some little dingbat illustrations for the chapter headers, or endings. Not story illustrations, but just symbol type stuff. A row of stylized guns or flamingos or a roll of film.
And I realized that such illustrations would work best if they were either completely decorative (which might be what I ultimately do, to make them go with the "Saul Bass" sort of look I have for the covers) OR I would make them a commentary on the title of the chapter, not the chapter itself.
So, for instance, Chapter 1 in The Man Who Did Too Much is titled "Saint George." Instead of trying to depict a guy lurking in a trenchcoat, or the dossier, or various conversations or characters or anything that actually happens in the chapter, I would create something on a "knight in shining armor" motif. Something to enhance the impression the title is supposed to give.
And that made me think about chapter titles for the current book. I usually don't create those all that early, but now, suddenly, I'm creating possible chapter titles, and they are working as inspiration.
The first chapter of The Man Who Ran Away, btw, will likely be "The Curious Incident of the Cops in the Daytime."
And the dingbat will be a little line of cop cars -- which is also how the story will start.
But I've gotta go. We want to see Maleficent tomorrow, and I need my beauty sleep.
See you in the funny papers.