Monday, March 29, 2010

Day 1, March 29, 2010

I've been writing fiction for quite a while. Three of my novels have sold, and in one case resold, to New York publishing houses: Signet Books and Bantam Books. A fourth novel sold to a publisher based in Arkansas, Variance Publishing. I've self-published a number of other novels. For the most part, my novels have received good to glowing media reviews and predominantly favorable reader reviews. For example, see The President's Henchman.

I hope to continue to work both sides of the publishing street.

With this blog, I'll be creating a record of how I write the first draft of my new novel, which for the purposes of this blog, I'll call SC. It's a story of psychological suspense, but I won't be giving away specific details. Rather, I'll be describing the preparation I did for this story, and what I accomplish each day in the way of writing.

Sounds like dry stuff, I know. But it might be useful to anyone who is thinking they might like to write their own novel someday. For some would-be writers, it will probably extinguish their ambitions. For others it might provide a framework and a bit of inspiration, i.e. I could do that.

For SC, I did on-site research. That is I visited the setting where the story will occur so I could get a sense of place. I did secondary research, reading books and web postings. I wrote biographies of the major characters and I did an eleven-page outline of the plot.

The more you know about your story before you start writing, the less chance there is you'll get stuck as you write. In fact, the more you know up front, the more you can improvise later without going astray.

The last novel I wrote was 160,000+ words long. Today, I wrote 2,000 words. That includes the prologue in which two of the principal characters are introduced, one by name, the other by name, appearance, and dialogue. I also wrote the first scene of the first chapter in which a third principal character is introduced, also by name, appearance and dialogue.

My goal is to write approximately 2,000 words each day at least six days per week. Doing the math, if this book is about as long as my last book, the first draft will take about eighty days to complete or three months, allowing for occasional days off.

After that, there will be revisions and polishes.

Day 1 of writing my new novel is done.

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