My Next Project, Part 2

Last week’s post was about lessons learned from my first four novels. Genre matters, and try as I might, romance is not my forte. That’s why DSP Publications is a better fit for the stories I write than its parent, Dreamspinner Press.

All my ideas for sequels to Whippersnapper are essentially romances. However, I know from experience they won’t turnout that way. So on to something else.

Posting something new on my blog every week consumes a lot of my writing time. To free up a big block of time, I set a goal to write all the posts needed for the next three months. Finishing a post makes me feel better about my unfinished projects, too.

With blog posts written and scheduled, I was ready to return to Luke Tanner  — the first book in a mystery series I started a few months ago. I wiped the dust (figuratively speaking) from the draft for another look. The problem was obvious. The four chapters I’d written belonged in the middle of the book.

I needed to start at the beginning. Instead of pantsing (making it up as I go along), I put together a synopsis. Once I start writing and the characters come to life, it won’t stick, but at least it gives me an overall structure for a story I’m calling Welcome to the Sinclair Arms.

Writing the synopsis helped, but there were still huge problems. Again, I abandoned  Luke Tanner. I had to… for my health. Thinking through all the elements of a good mystery — multiple suspects, red herrings, and surprising plot twists — nearly made my head explode.

I have  plenty of ideas for more Philip Potter stories. Several minor characters from the first three books in the series could star in spin-offs. I finally settled on a thriller set in Washington DC in the early 1970s.

Finishing the story is my number one priority because DSP Publications expects a finished manuscript by December 1. Wish me luck. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.