And that's the PLOT written.
Now I go back to the very start and write the STORY. The story is different from the plot. The plot is everything that has to happen at certain points— the plot is the writer inflicting his will on the book. The story, however, is how we get to the plot. The story is what drives the characters forward. The story is what captivates US, the reader.
Naturally, there's a whole heap of overlap between the two. A lot of the time, plot is story and story is plot. But not ALL the time. And for this one, the war book, I needed to get the plot hammered into shape before I start to lather on the story.
Now I get to spend time with Val and her family. Now I get to write about Scapegrace and Thrasher. Now I get to have fun and make jokes.
If there's one thing I don't want, is to have a less-funny Skulduggery book. I like it when they're funny. The danger, as Val gets older and the books get darker, is that they lose their humour. I haven't read the first few books in a while, but I'd imagine there are a lot more jokes per page in the early ones than the later ones. I expected this, but there is still a certain ratio I have to keep. Even though you Minions respond to the emotional beats of these stories as they get more mature, no one is really wishing for a joke-free book, are they? Where's the fun in that? So now I go back and make sure that no matter how grim things get (and they DO get grim) or how dire the situation becomes (and it DOES become dire), we have enough jokes and laughing-in-the-face-of-death to see us through the darkness and out the other side.