Writing Life: Progress on my 2nd novel

Now that my first novel, Deadlines Are Murder, has been out on amazon.com and smashwords.com for a year and has sold about 650 copies, it’s time to get cranking on my second novel, Weddings Are Murder.  While my intentions have been good, my progress has been slow. I can attribute some of this slowness to a new position at work and the steep learning curve with this job; the fact that we had work done on the house over the summer and more work than we originally intended; and we took a 3-week vacation to Italy, which was fantastic and which I highly recommend to anyone; and that I keep restructuring the story.

The house renovations were necessary, the trip was great and the restructuring of the story has been fun. I anticipated spending all of November writing but found myself focusing more and more on the plot, the characters and outlining the story.  Needless to say the total word count for November, a la NanoWriMo, was not as great as I had hoped.

In my plotting and restructuring first one person was going to be murdered, then another, then back to the first person while the second person is in a bad accident. For all the planning I’m doing, the characters are sometimes telling me what they want and changing their roles while I’m writing. Some of the changes have been character based, some have been plot based and the most surprising is who the murderee will be.  With NanoWriMo not being as successful as I would like with total words written, I decided to take a Challenge to Write class with Pat Kay in January, with a goal of writing 3 pages per day. I didn’t quite make 3 pages per day but I did 69 pages for the month which was pretty decent and pushed me well over the half-way mark of the novel.

My goal is to finish the first draft by February 28, or sooner if I’m snowed in all weekend. I anticipate finishing the second draft by May 30 and then send to an editor for review. I hope to finish the third and final draft by September 30 and publish by October 30.  This time I intend for focus a bit more time on using the appropriate layout tools for amazon, smashwords and CreateSpace to have a more polished book. I have learned, in the past few months. While I like the spontaneity and joy of pantsing, I also think that this story will benefit from some consistent and revisited plotting.  Of course, how this story is accepted will tell me more about this approach.

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