03 February 2011

A little history on my next novel - Fire

Two years ago, a friend talked me into participating in NaNoWriMo . At the time, I was casting around for a new story idea, and I figured a one month/50K word deadline would light a fire under my butt and force me to write something - anything as a first draft. Get the creative juices flowing, so to speak. My plan was to write something outside of my normal genre (thrillers). I had all sorts of cool ideas bouncing around in my head - ideas that verged on Literature (note the capital L).

That didn't happen.

I wrote about  Zombies. As much as I tried, they kept creeping into my draft, clawing at the door, begging me to tell their story. I made it about 30K words into the month and finally threw my arms up in disgust. "I don't want to write a damn zombie book!" I screamed. I closed the file in Scrivener and tried to forget about it, went to work on another thriller - the book that ended up being The Patriot Paradox.

Flash forward to the spring of 2010. My life was in flux. I had just quit my job and my wife and I had packed all of our stuff into a pair of PODS, loaded the dogs into the Element, and we were heading West, to Arizona. Saying tearful goodbyes to friends and family on the East coast and returning to our roots.

Writing was a distant priority during this period. I was far too distracted to focus on anything new, too stressed with starting a new job, setting up a household, and acclimating to my new surroundings to put fingers to keyboard.

Then one day, something magical happened. I was poking around on my computer, looking for something entirely unrelated to writing, and I came across a folder called NaNo2009. I opened it up and started reading.

And I liked it. Really liked it. The manuscript that I fought tooth and nail against was calling to me, pleading for me to finish it. As a reader, I wanted to know how the story ended.

So I made time. I spent the next six weeks completing the first draft, tweaking, tuning, rewriting where necessary. Then I put it aside - to rise.

Right before Christmas, I opened up the manuscript again and started to make revisions - the dreaded second draft. And that's what I've been doing for the past six weeks. Taking the story apart piece by piece, holding them up, inspecting them, making adjustments, and putting it all back together again.

As of this evening, I've got only eleven chapters left. After that, it goes through an initial round (really the second round since I do some editing during revisions) of editing before I send copies to my Beta readers. My Betas will tear it apart, find holes in the plot, tell me where characters are flat or useless. I hope.

After that, I'll make adjustments based on their feedback and my own re-reading of the story, and then  - if I'm happy with it, you'll get a chance to read it.

I can't wait!