My fifth novel, The Case of the Missing Drag Queen, continues to progress at a record-breaking pace. With 41,000 words in 24 finished chapters, I’m well past the midpoint. If all goes well, I should reach “The End” sometime in September.
For me to get so far, so fast, is unprecedented. I usually hit a wall somewhere around 20,000 words. Sometimes, I break through and finish, but with a half dozen abandoned manuscripts, I did not. Thanks in no small part to the three-act structure and my epiphany about the role of the main character, I’ve so far avoided the wall with my fifth novel.
I’m having fun too. My fear that something would get lost by planning so much ahead of time was unfounded. As with my unplanned stories, the characters continue to reveal surprising connections to each other that make me look brilliant. What connections? I’ll never tell.
The last ten chapters are already planned out. Now it’s just a matter of getting everything down. What might slow me down?
New Chapters. Some come easier than others, but getting the ball rolling can take time. Knowing what needs to happen next helps, but there are often many false starts before I figure out how to get there.
Research. This story is set in 1982. In this age of rapid change, searches help me get telephones, televisions, music-playing devices, answering machines, and other technology right. I spend a lot of time searching for songs for the drag queens to perform, the celebrities they might impersonate, and the outfits, hair styles, and accessories they wear.
Word choice. For various reasons, I frequently stop to lookup meanings and synonyms for words and phrases. I may need a different word, the correct word, or exactly the right word. Searching when I’m struggling to choose between words often turns up helpful nuances.
Rearranging. Words rarely come out in the right order or in the right place. Important details may come out too soon, too late, or too often. l move around or delete words, phrases, sentences, and paragraphs until I’m satisfied or decide to leave it for later and move on.
Distractions and Interruptions. The time I have for writing is often consumed by interactions with the real world. My ability to roll with the punches varies. I try to maintain a positive attitude, but can and do get down-right pissy.
My Mood. I try to write a little every day, but have learned it can’t be forced. Sometimes my heart just isn’t in it. Down-time is healthy.
College Football. Georgia is #15 in the preseason polls and the pick to win the East division of the Southeastern Conference. I rarely miss a game. Unless Georgia or Kentucky plays, I may skip the 12:30 game, but end up watching three games just about every Saturday.
Even so, I’m sticking with my goal to finish The Case of the Missing Drag Queen before the end of September. I’ll keep you posted. Thanks for stopping by.