I’ve been reasonably quiet of late but that’s because I’ve been writing.
I’m stuck in the dank, dark recesses of the second proper draft of DEVIL IN THE DETAIL. I’m at 73% and I’ve just overcome the difficult middle part of the book. All middles are difficult – there’s a point where you’re so far from the momentum of the start and from the crescendo towards the end that you struggle to determine the quality of the work. Fortunately, I’m past that for this draft but I think there are a few skeletons in there for the next draft.
The more observant of you will probably notice that I said “second proper draft” there. I wrote DEVIL two years ago as a novella, and I’ve recently been expanding it into the proper second SCOTT CULLEN novel. Looking back, I had seriously skimped on things the first time though and there are a lot of complications to the case that I never investigated or progressed. Well, I’m putting Cullen through that pain now, that’s for certain.
When I picked up GHOST again at Christmas time, it was to complete the replot I’d done in August 2010 and had made some progress towards last summer but had jettisoned in September – hey, momentum is everything and I’d run out! The big learning for me was how to properly finish the book – my writing style improved immeasurably in the first three months of this year as I attacked the manuscript. (There are things I’ve since learned, having published the book – v1.01 of the book which corrects typos should be published soon)
Getting back into DEVIL, I find that I’ve developed my writing process. I created a spreadsheet which allows me to manage the book efficiently and track progress. I’ve bought Srivener now – as my Twitter followers will note – and I am trying to figure out how this writing model could be adapted to work in that application, rather than the two spreadsheets, one txt file and one Word doc that I currently use.
To that end – and here’s an announcement – I will be working on a short story, which may become a novelette, between drafts of DEVIL called ALL IN A NAME, which picks up a tiny incidental point from DEVIL and also is set in the same time frame as WHISKY IN THE JAR. The main purpose is to see if I can use Scrivener before I get stuck into the full-blown monster that will DYED IN THE WOOL. NAME will be released at the same time as DEVIL – that’s my current intention, anyway, but finishing DEVIL will take precedent. Currently, I think I’m on track for publishing in October – my panic of a few weeks ago has subsided somewhat.
Anyway, enough of this, I’d better get back to writing.