Diary of a novel: The Beast Within

Here’s another new feature for Words Worth Writing, but one that has been well-received in the past, so it’s really being resurrected for the latest project.

I’ve decided that my next project will be The Beast Within: a Marcie Craig mystery.

When I hauled out my folders for this project last weekend, I was mortified to see I first started to jot notes down in 2003. July 2003. This is an absolute disgrace – but it’s also why I date things.

I’ve been reading and reviewing lots of writers’ guides over the past year-and-a-half, and while there is another one I’ll try the exercises and templates for in the future, for The Beast Within the only book I kept thinking of was this one: The Marshall Plan by Evan Marshall.

When he saw that I’d reviewed his books many, many years ago, Mr Marshall very kindly sent me a copy of the electronic version to review. But over the years, sadly, this has been lost. I do still have the original templates, however. Somehow, these made it onto one of my backup disks.

However, the practical workbook that accompanies the Marshall plan for writing a novel also has photocopiable templates. Unfortunately, neither book is available brand new any more, but if you do a search (this is the UK Amazon search) you might be able to pick up a good second-hand copy.

Evan Marshall is a literary agent  based in New Jersey.

On Monday, as I gathered together all of the materials already started, I also printed off the worksheets that I have as templates and I photocopied those from the workbook I’d also like to use. Then it was all put into a binder, ready for the proper planning to begin.

The Beast Within even has a working cover at the moment, with a mock-up of the album cover of The Beast Within by The Handsome Beasts, a metal/rock band I used to know when I lived in Birmingham. I started to follow them just before guitarist Maz joined the lineup, but I also knew the original lead singer (Garry – RIP), and I’m still friends with one of the drummers, Ray.

While I do the planning for this long-awaited Marcie Craig sequel, I’ll be polishing the semi-prequel Catch the Rainbow. I may not work on it every day, but I hope to work on it at least every week.

I’ll try to post weekly updates under the new category Diary of a Novel.

Please let me know if there’s anything in particular you’d like me to include.