Saturday, December 29, 2012

Snowbound Dreams

I'm watching the snow--intermittently, because there's no window in my office--while thinking of the next step in my current work. With winter upon us, outdoor projects have ceased. Actually, they'd stalled before this as my bad knee got worse. That begins to change  next month when the knee gets replaced.

I've actually applied myself to writing a novel: Big 50 is to be a thriller--I hope--and swings around a retired Marine who supplements his retirement by writing about the outdoors, guns and whatever interests him at the moment. There are bank robberies and weaponry and antique and new cars and other things that blend my interests and knowledge into a whole that I hope will interest many thousands of readers.

I've written nearly 50 non-fiction trade books, so assembling words is not something that is a problem, but assembling them into interesting fiction is a different kind of work than is writing non-fiction. At this stage it is a lot more difficult.

The writing goes in fits and starts, but I hope to have it done late in February or early in March depending partly on how long and difficult the knee rehab is. I've done that before, and while it isn't a whole lot of fun, after a month or so, getting around is fairly easy with a cane. With this right knee replacement, though, I won't be driving until the end of March. Living where I do, that's going to be a challenge. I'll probably re-read everything on our bookshelves!

The big problem with books published on the Internet, whether just popped up as a PDF on a web site, done as a Kindle or Nook book, or anything else that crops up before I finish Big 50, is marketing. Regardless of the joy found in researching the characters--yeah, really, you do need to know your characters--and following them on the pages, the intent of any genre novel is to make money by pleasing the largest number of people possible. So far, I've been ineffective on the Internet at this in non-fiction, with most of the suggestions available being either unaffordable or plain stupid. I'm aware that latter judgment is too harsh so I'm looking for new ways that aren't stupid--in my mind.

In the meantime, I'll check in here and drop a word or six on the writing process, stumbles in research and similar enjoyable pastimes.  At the moment, I'm approaching 40,000 words in the first draft. I'm not sure what total we'll see, but double that seems a likely number, especially the way my characters are pushing me now. Once everything is written, I'll rewrite, then edit, then proofread. I'll probably do another rewrite after that, so the final book may be 60,000 words--or 100,000.

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