Thursday, March 3, 2016

On That First Draft.

Introducing Calvin Schultz, our new P.R. guy.

Louis Shalako

Our new mystery novel, Maintenon and the Golden Dragon, now stands at 42,400 words in manuscript form.

It’s always a mellow feeling, to know how it ends, who done it, what the writer has to do next, and approximately how much time we have to do it. Generally, the mysteries I write end up between 60,000 and 65,000 words.

I wouldn’t even know how to write a longer one. It’s basically pulp fiction. It would have to be a real saga, an epic to qualify for a hundred thousand words these days. My early novels were a lot longer. I reckon that’s fair. What we’re doing is following along with Inspector Gilles Maintenon’s career, during the twenties and thirties, on a case by case basis. It really doesn’t require much more than 60,000 words.

This is the seventh in the series and my twentieth novel overall.

The funny thing is, I’m a lazy guy. I sit around drinking beer. I’ve been taking an interest in cooking. Actual writing time couldn’t be much more than a couple of hours a day, although some days are longer. On a day-to-day basis, the plot inches ahead, and sometimes not even that.

Tonight, it’s a nice, relaxing, mellow feeling as I listen to the radio and ideas flicker through my mind.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, when working on a draft, all I want to do is to get to the end of the plot. I can fill in clothing, rooms, locations and their descriptions a little more fully later. I can describe people’s physical descriptions in more detail later. I can check names, facts, internal logic (and external logic in a series), and continuity. All that comes later.

Just like the reader, I want to know what happened. I need to see the end of it. Only then do I see what it takes to make the story work.

At this point, we have enough clues, enough leads, that we know we can crack this case even though there's still plenty more work to be done. We want to tie up those loose ends and nail this one down.

There’s plenty of suspense and a good bit of emotion before we’re done—but here at Long Cool One Books we are hot on the trail of a killer.

It’s only a matter of time.




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