Thursday, February 19, 2009

Writing Novels

I had a day alone yesterday and spent it writing. I got to a place in the plot that stopped me. What is happening in the middle that leads to the ending? The beginning and the ending of a novel is easier than all that big middle part that has to keep the reader reading so she/he will get to the end.

At five o'clock I climbed into the shower and as those things happen, it all began coming to me. I wanted to hold it in my mind long enough to get my hair dried, clothes on and get back to the computer and write down what is to come. I did and am anxious to get to it.

When I started writing "Plugged Nickel", I wasn't really in the emotional state to do it. I plodded along and was getting close to the end when I checked to see how many words I'd written. Only 21,000! Way too short for a novel.

My first novel, "The Demise of Bobby Mac" had 102,000 words which translated to 348 published pages. My second, "Copper Penny" (the first in the Joe Denali series) has 75,615 right now. I do plan to go back into it and do some rewriting. Hopefully it will go up to about 80,000 by the time I'm finished.

A novelette has less than 70,000 words usually. A full-fledged novel needs between 70,000 and 100,000--preferably about 85,000.

When I saw that I was only at 21,000, I had to think of a way to expand the story. Since it was pretty bland and only had Joe's point of view, I decided to add his partner, Sandy's, point of view and give her a story that had as much suspense as Joe's had. I ramped up Joe's story--gave it more suspense and him more crisis, got the FBI involved by bringing in a character from "Copper Penny" and I think I can get about 75,000 words when all is said and done.

In Bobby Mac, even when I thought I had finished, I had a couple of other characters who wanted to be heard again. In that book I had four different points of view working. Two of them raised up when I declared the book finished and said to me, "Wait, I have something else to say." And they did.

I love writing and really love it when my muse/my intuition/the Holy Spirit--call it what you will--get involved.

Today will be a little busier and I may not get to write much, but at least I now have an idea where I'm going. Come to think of it, isn't that what makes our lives worthwhile? Knowing we have somewhere to go and going there?

1 comment:

  1. Hey! I am so glad to hear that you're feeling excited about Plugged Nickel. I'm enjoying it.