Planning Ahead

Paper head
CC 2010 Drew Coffman

I have the first two thirds of the Suicide novel plotted. Not only do I need to get this done this week, but I need to focus on something else.

A couple months ago, I took on a ghost writing project. It’s basically for beer money, but the client and I both did not know what we were doing. I’ll eventually have to write about that one soon. The fact is, though, I need to give this client a chapter or two before the end of next week. Not because he’s waiting (which he is). But I have to start on the rewrite of Storming Amargosa, which I decided I would do as a NaNoWriMo project.

Granted, I’m cheating. Much of what will go into the novel has already been written. So I’m doing a rewrite as a NaNo project. To get this done, with Thanksgiving and family obligations coming up, the first week will be devoted entirely to the Storming redux.

Normally, I write the ghost project on weekends, doing 1500 words on Friday and Saturday with 500 on Sunday for a total of 3500, about a chapter. This exercise has been illuminating. For starters, I’m pantsing the hell out of it. I was handed 20,000 words and told to try to get it to 90,000. By setting the word count for each chapter, I’ve found that I can write cleaner drafts and pace the novel accordingly. (Which reminds me. I need to send my client notes on the next three chapters.)

So I’m starting Suicide in December. Right?


Jim Winter needs some love. A publisher is looking at Holland Bay. He’ll want a follow-up if he bites. So I need to research and plot that one. I also wrote a Nick Kepler novel (by request of my lovely bride) that checked in short of 40,000 words. That will need to be delicately expanded. And then, by March, I need to get Storming back from beta readers. Somewhere in there, I might get Suicide’s debut novel done. Maybe.

We’ll see.