Thursday, June 9, 2011

Oh No, Not Again.

c2011 (S)

Oh no! Not again!

What began as a short story is showing unmistakeable signs of turning into a novel.

These signs include an increasing attention to plot, and today a lot of fact-checking. Calling a character 'the chief of police' when in fact he is a 'superintendent' will quickly lose a writer a lot of readers.

This is the tough thing to remember about genre fiction: it must above all else be accurate, although I think I will stick to fictional names rather than try to tie in a fictional story with actual historical figures, which would of necessity include more research into the person who was the actual Superintendent of the Territorial Police CID in Devon County, UK, back in 1927-29 or thereabouts. And Dartmoor is definitely in Devon--I'll know all this stuff off by heart in a few more days or weeks, don't you worry about that.

Another tough thing about the novel: my first novel was a work of seven years. You can read a draft many times in seven years. The next few novels all took at least three months just to get a first draft. Each and every one of my published novels has been read at least 150 times.

It is important to keep in mind that I'm only three or four weeks into the project, with about 19,000 words down, and yeah: it's another bleeping novel, when basically I just wanted another short story.

At this stage, of course I'm worried, and of course much of it is fragmentary at best. The thing is just slightly too long to read it all before starting the day, and just reviewing the short bit I wrote yesterday isn't much help sometimes.

Today is a good day to hit Wikipedia and other sources, and maybe do a little fact-checking. At this stage of the game, 500-1,000 words a day isn't unreasonable as a writing goal.

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