I read through a few of my older posts and discovered some promises and unfinished projects. In particular, I see that I was promising to work on Ben Bones & The Uncivil War, but that book is still unfinished. It’s in the same condition as it was when the post was written back in Feb, 2014. I have successfully avoided working on it by working on other projects.
The Embezzler Didn’t is still not done either. It’s still a good idea, still about a third to one half finished, and I’m stuck for what to do to the characters next. I even threw an earthquake at them to shake the story up. A great idea, and it worked wonderfully, but I still have the same characters with the same animosities toward one another, but with their physical challenges changed a bit. What are they going to do next? I dunno.
Mystery Mastery is finished, complete with a created-by-hand index. That’s out now, though sales are still pitiful. I have no plans to quit my day job just yet… though the desire is big.
BB & The Conventional Murders is almost (!) complete. The story is written and edited, the appendices are done except for the genealogical charts which I can’t seem to print to pdf correctly, and I’m not satisfied with the cover. Perhaps by the end of 2014, he mused.
So I have to say that although some projects aren’t done, others have been completed. I have not been wasting my time. Well, not ALL my time anyway. Read on, gentle reader.
NaNoWriMo is poised to begin – only two more days of fretting about the project before we have to dig in and actually do it. My NaNoWriMo project for this year is Cryogens, a science fiction mystery about the future.
For those who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. It’s an online challenge (google it) to write a 50,000 word first draft (that’s only 1667 words per day) during the month of November. It’s a gas! If you commit, you will learn a great deal about yourself as a writer, and perhaps even have a book when you’re done. I have done this once before (2012) and the result was a 32,444 word “mysterical adventure” entitled The Extra Body. It was the first time I started a book with no idea what it was about, who the characters might be, or where it was going to go. I have quite enough to do in my daily life without adding NaNoWriMo pressure, and wasn’t planning to do it again this year, but something happened while I was casting about for a story idea.
Looking through some old notes, I discovered a worn and torn manila envelope dated 1972 that had some scribbled notes for Cryogens. It’s a story that has been in waiting for years. 1972! Can you imagine? The story had never been written, but it was a good idea then and still is. I didn’t write it then because I was too young; I didn’t know enough about people or the world. Perhaps I was involved in other projects – like trying to earn a living as a photographer. But now, with many more years under my belt (which is of somewhat greater diameter), I feel I can write the story of the people I invented so long ago. NaNoWriMo 2014 is the perfect opportunity.
So I’ve been scribbling more notes on my iPad, emailing them to myself, and picking them up in OpenOfficeWriter for editing. (BTW, I’m going write the book in OpenOfficeWriter instead of MS-Word. I’m sick of Microsoft’s system “enhancements” and arrogance. So this year — lots of challenges.)
Who else is coming along for the ride? Want a writing challenge? NaNoWriMo might just be it.
(Boy, this sure reads like an advert for NaNoWriMo. It started out to be about Cryogens, but seems to have gone off track. Oh, well. Best of intentions…)
After two years in the gestation and writing, my book on how to write a believable mystery is finally out. I never did get that arts grant to write it, so, as I have in the past when my plans were frustrated, I plowed ahead with the project anyway. I did it with the magazines I edited and published. I’ve done it with self-publishing after years of trying to get in agents’ and editors’ front doors. Now I’ve done it again.
Since writers are always interested in improving their craft, Mystery Mastery is bound to help a few at least. The goal of the book isn’t to tell people “the rules” for writing. I don’t believe there are any iron-clad rules beyond Heinlein’s “Write” and “Finish what you write.”
Mystery Mastery is designed to set people thinking about their writing. The book is packed with useful and challenging exercises to do exactly that. There are exercises for character and plot development, types of characters, setting, weapons, research, and much more. Sure, it’s my theories on the writing process, but this is a book designed to set people into motion.
The book is available from Amazon or directly from me.
Commence to writing, people!