Friday, August 15, 2008

A writing spurt

My novel is going well--at least by my own standards. When I sit down at the computer, I seem to know where I'm going, and the words and ideas flow. It's taken me a very long time to get there with this novel, and I'm finally excited about it. I know, for me, the best way to write is to write every day--some of it may turn out to be awful and have to be trashed, some may have to be revised, but I'm moving ahead. So I'm really making a point of getting at least two or three pages down a day. I think part of my problem has been that I'd write a bit and then be away from it for two or three days. I know of writers who religiously spend four to eight hours a day writing. Clearly, their method is different from mine, but I should learn something.
I was at what I would call a stickey wicket--getting the main couple together as lovers without really writing a sex scene. Brandon, my son-in-law, once told me my sex scenes were "disappointingly tasteful," and while, tasteful or not, they fit in the stories of, for instance George and Libby Armstrong or Etta Place and Butch Cassidy who were noted for their passionate love, they don't seem to fit in the mystery series I'm trying to develop. It's not that I have anything against writing a good sex scene (if I could get beyond what Brandon apparently considers my inhibitions), but it just they're not right for these books. Anyway, I think I've done it successfully. Now I have to get them living together and how do they explain that to Kelly's two young daughters? When Fred Erisman read the draft of the first book in this series (now apparently destined to become the second), I mentioned that it was autobiographical in part, and he, ever proper, said he'd wondered but hadn't wanted to ask.
Some authors write long. Ask them for a thousand words, and they'll give you 5,000. I'm the opposite. So one of my worries is whether or not I can keep all the balls in the air long enough to sustain interest until I get to the usual length of mysteries--about 75,000 words. And that's how I feel now. I'm on chapter seven, and it will probably take thirty chapters. I feel I'm rushing through the plot ideas I have, and even though I know in my mind all the things left to happen, can they take up twenty-three chapters? How many victims is my serial killer going to have to have to do that? He may end up rivalling the Green River killer. Fred tells me I rush through things, and he is as always right. I'll have to ask him about this version of this manuscript.
I also have a TCU Press project I'm editing that I now need to key in corrections on. I find that I don't get that done during my mornings at the office, so I brought it home and got done tonight what I had set for my weekend goal. So I'll go get the rest of it tomorrow and see how far I get.
What looked like an open weekend has quickly filled up. Tonight Charles and I went to a local Lebanese restaurant and had a delicious dinner and a good visit. Tomorrow night, I'm fixing a quick dinner for Jordan--I want chicken salad and she wants plain sauteed chicken, and I may just fix both. Then I'll keep Jacob overnight. Sunday is pretty much clear, after she comes to get Jacob, and then in the evening the neighbors are coming for cocktails. Jay told me how cool it is going to be, and I immediatley said, "Porch party!" So I'll fix appetizers. Another nice weekend, and then into a busy week.

No comments: