Diary of a Novel: Great beginnings

I didn’t do any more work on the novel on Tuesday, so I wrote the grand total of 197 words, bringing my running total to 464.

Instead, I carried on with the edit that I’d started on Monday. I worked on that all day Wednesday as well, and most of Thursday, submitting it yesterday teatime-ish.

Before I’d finished that job, a new job came in from another client, and I was printing that off yesterday as I was finishing the other one. I’ve started the new edit today. It’s all go.

Also yesterday, I fired off a quick query about the new non-fiction contract. My initial proposal said I would start that on 1 March and submit it on 1 September. However, call me a bluff old cynic, but I won’t properly start a new job until all the Ts are crossed and all the Is dotted.

Today is 5 April, and I’ve still not started it – but lovely-already-boss did assure me the contract was on the way and had just got stuck in a log-jam. I think it’s more likely now that it will be in on 1 November, as I will have lost 2 months by the time the contract does come through, because we also have a 3-week holiday coming up.

This morning I read a little more of Writing the Killer Mystery – Great Beginnings and I made some notes. Today’s ink of choice is green. Then I was distracted … I wanted a few more colours to write in so that I can separate out the days’ work better, see what progress (or not) I’ve made.

Sadly, my local stationers, Office Outlet, has gone into voluntary liquidation – they weren’t making sufficient profit to continue trading, apparently. Happily, though (every cloud, and all that), they’re having a closing down sale, with up to 50% off some lines.

So, off I dashed to buy some coloured Bic Biros … I came back with a wallet of 8 highlighter pens, a bumper pack of fluorescent Post-it Notes, 2 packs of comfort grip pens (blue and black, for drafting proper), a rubber (eraser), a pencil sharpener, some coloured sticky stars (don’t ask!), a 5-ream box of copier paper … and 2 packets of multi-coloured Bic Biros …

I used to be a spendaholic, you know … So glad I got over that …

Anyway, back home, I felt able to continue with my notes, and I worked on the basic outline, I did some sleuth work, I added to the crime section, wrote up a potted biography of the perpetrator, added 3 more characters, and thrashed out 2 suspects.

In all, today, I wrote a slightly more respectable 470 words, bringing the running total to 1,131.

Tonight and over the weekend, I’ll be reading Writing the Killer Mystery – Captivating Characters and, no doubt, writing up some more detailed character notes. Tomorrow’s ink will be purple or orange, and then the next day’s ink will be orange or purple. Then I’m back to black. (Red is for corrections and word-count.)

Ron D Voigts, the author of these writing volumes, doesn’t mind if you want to get on with some writing. He doesn’t say you have to do all of this planning first before you start with the interesting stuff – although I really enjoy the planning process.

Instead, he says if you want to crack on and do some writing, then do it. You can always come back to the planning pages later. What a guy!

Therefore, at some point over the weekend, I may start on a basic chapter-by-chapter outline, and I may do some writing.

The poet’s band has a gig tomorrow night and on Sunday we may be visiting or we may be alphabet adventuring. Or we may stay in while I do some writing and he does some painting. Who knows?

What are you up to this weekend?

Oh, and NEWSFLASH! The jury at the inquest into the Birmingham Pub Bombings has concluded that the 21 victims were “unlawfully killed” (Source: BBC) … Erm, excuse me? Unlawfully? Surely they already knew that? Apparently, they were murdered by the Provisional IRA (Source: Birmingham Live). And still I say, what took them so long?

2 thoughts on “Diary of a Novel: Great beginnings

  1. Great Blog, Diane. It’s always interesting, but this post was of particular interest to me because I also do a lot of what Ron D Voigts suggests. I have written a saga; sequels, spy & thrillers. To keep track of four sisters with very different lives and careers I have to plot. And, it’s very helpful to do chapter breakdowns. Think I need to read Ron D Voights.

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