Welcome Wednesday guests for October:
10/01 Finding Sky author, Susan O'Brien;
10/08 Award-winning Hank Phillippi Ryan (Truth Be Told);
10/15 Indie authors Polly Iyer (Backlash) and Ellis Vidler (Prime Target);
10/22 Murder by the Month author, Jess Lourey;
10/29 Marilyn Levinson, Golden Age of Mystery Book Club Mystery author.

Gloria Alden's latest publication is nonfiction. Boys Will Be Boys: The Joys and Terrors of Raising Boys. Edited by Cher'ley Grogg was recently released and available on Amazon. Gloria wrote three essays and two poems in her chapter included in the book.

Don't miss this month's release of Chesapeake Crimes: Homicidal Holidays on October 7th, in which WWK bloggers Shari Randall ("Disco Donna") and E. B. Davis ("Compromised Circumstances") have short stories.

KM Rockwood's
short stories will appear in two anthologies released in October. They are: "The Lure of the Owl" in Swamp Mansion and Other Dark Stories, to be released as a ebook, and "Aunt Olga and the Werewolf" will be included in the third Creatures, Crimes and Creativity anthology release by Intrigue Publishing. at their conference in October.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Winter Writer

Today is cold and clear. The sheep, in their winter sweaters, love this weather. Most of the horses do as well.

Sometime in October, my creativity, dormant over the summer, wakes. I do my best writing in the autumn. Thanksgiving is the high point and then there is a sudden down turn in mood and creativity until mid January. I find the cold invigorating, both mentally and physically. I grew up in New England and I find these Delaware winters a bit on the wimpy side. I don’t get to wear my heavy wool sweaters often. There aren’t long stretches of freezing between thaws.

So having come out of my post autumn slump, which was particularly bad this year, I am once more off and running. I have one short story I am editing for a publisher, another almost done and I need to start a third which is due in April.

For years now people have been urging me to write another novel, and I have been resisting. I am a short story writer, not a novelist.

Bending to the pressure, I started novel number seven, using characters from my short stories. Maybe I have learned enough about writing to make a go of this one. Maybe I will live long enough to finish it. Maybe I will have fun doing it.

I have been trying to figure out who the murder victim is and why he is in the town at all. I have actually written the first scene, which may find its way into the trash. For now, I am satisfied.

I read the Pennsylvania Gazette from 1752 to find out what was going on at the time. I found one murder, several robberies. Most horses stolen were black, most escapees were Irish indentured servants, not slaves. Delaware newspapers will be a bit harder. Oh, boy, a fun day in the library in downtown Wilmington.

I will balance research with writing for the next few weeks. The research will taper off and the writing takes over. Once the first draft is done, I will go back to research to fill in the gaps and flesh out the story.

Very little of this early work has anything to do with plot. It is all location and character. I had a jump start on both with the two short stories on which this novel is based. I have to have more complete characters, a better grasp of the location. I need to change some things from the stories.

For me plotting is the hardest part of the job. Odd, since mysteries depend heavily on plot. The plot forms as I write with many twists and turns and false starts.If I try to outline a plot at the beginning, I never finish because once I figure it out I am done.

I had lunch with a writer friend yesterday and he told me he knows everything about the story before he starts to write. I admire that, but I just can’t do it.

Me? I am six characters and an author in search of a story.

Around the time of my next post-Thanksgiving slump, I hope to have the first draft of Death on the Delaware done and ready for the really hard work of revising.

4 comments:

Gloria Alden said...

KB, I love your pictures.It sounds like your research in the library should give you all sorts of ideas. Interesting that most of the horses were black. It could be because they were harder to see by pursuers in the dark, which is when I assume most horses were stolen. Keep going, KB. You are going to have a very good plot and a good book.

Warren Bull said...

If you are like me you will enjoy the research part. One advantage of having a body of work completed is that when you get "discovered" you'll be ahead of the curve on getting future books out.

Pauline Alldred said...

Good luck with Death on the Delaware. I'm looking forward to seeing it in print. I too struggle with plot and replot and replot until I'm chasing my tail. Research does bring new breaks.

E. B. Davis said...

Winter is usually my best time to write because no one is home. I think you have to know the beginning, middle and end before writing. The details can be worked out as you go, but I can't write blind--every scene has to have a purpose, pushing the plot forward.

Some writers think that you have to write everyday. I contend that you should think about your novel everyday-writing notes, working out the plot, characters, etc. But writing for the sake of writing is a waste of time without aim.