Believe it or not, the first draft of Dark Matters (Book 1) didn’t include famous quotes at the start of each chapter. But I’ve always enjoyed the well-placed aphorism, and thought that subtly relevant quotes to begin each chapter would be a great addition to the story. So during the editing phase, I spent a week or so digging through various books and web sites. Soon enough, I had what I thought were a good mix of quotes. Some well-known, others more obscure. But they all meant something in the context of the story. Or at least, they did to me!
That was early 2015. So here we are, a year later, and suddenly I’m saddled with finding another 40+ quotes for each chapter of Book 2. AND, in the back of my mind, I know I’ll need that many more for Book 3. Suddenly, my brilliant idea has begun to bite me in the arse, so to speak…
I write this now, with the smallest of smiles on my face, because I’ve just finished selecting the quotes for Book 2. Don’t get me wrong-a few of them will change before the book is released, though I’m very happy with all of them. But I expect I’ll stumble on a few that are ‘even better’ before Book 2 is published. There was some last-minute swapping in Book 1, and I’m sure it will happen again.
So how do I go about finding the quotes? I’ll be honest, it’s a bit like my writing: some initial structure that eventually devolves into a free-for-all. I’ll start with the chapter content, and pick a few themes that might work for the quote. Maybe the quote should have something to do with power, or with truth. So I’ll start with Google (of course…), hunting for quotes of that type. From there, though, it’s anyone’s guess where it may lead. I might see a quote I like that doesn’t fit, so I’ll look at more quotes from that individual. Or I’ll find a related topic (leadership instead of power) and head down that path. In the end, though, it’s a slow, deliberate process that only ends when I find the perfect quote. The good news is, when I find it, I know it. Somehow, it just feels right. Very much like when I was choosing names for all the characters (though I’ll save that for another article…). And, what took barely a week for Book 1 quotes took almost a MONTH for Book 2. I can only hope it was worth the time.
One last bonus, as I’m feeling a bit giddy from the completion of this month-long search. Below are a couple of my favorite quotes for Book 2, just for loyal subscribers! I suppose you could call them the smallest of spoilers, though I think that’s a bit of a stretch. But DON’T READ FURTHER if you don’t want to see the first-ever Book 2 content released into the wild… :). Enjoy!