A novel approach

Book ideas

Do you have weeks where everything starts to come together?

Lovely, aren’t they?

Here at Crouch Corner, the week starts with the report from my new editor. I like the sound of her from the few emails we’ve exchanged, but I have no idea what to expect. I don’t need to worry though. Many of her recommendations amplify and echo my own doubts. But she gives me suggestions to improve the story, leaving only a small number of wrinkles and anomalies to iron out.

Two days later, No Remorse, the third Kent Fisher mystery, is ready for release on 7th May.

IdeasI sit back, delighted with the finished novel and have the first of several ideas.

I send the manuscript to my Kindle so I can read the novel the way I read other books. It looks and reads differently as a book rather than a double-spaced manuscript on a computer monitor. This helps me to spot a few typos that have escaped all the previous edits. It’s also a great way to identify any phrases or sentences that don’t read well or sound clumsy.

That’s when I have another idea.

Maybe I can read the first draft of the next manuscript on my Kindle rather than print it out and smother the pages with handwritten notes and comments I can’t decipher later.

Clearly, I have to write the next novel before I can try this, which gives me a third idea.

Why not record the writing and editing process from start to finish?

Many times over the years, I’ve thought about doing this. I find a few files on the computer where I started to write a journal for the book I was working on. But none of these files have more than a handful of entries.

I always have a working notebook where I write down ideas, snatches of dialogue, plans and that kind of thing. That’s in addition to the scraps of paper, Post It notes, and messages dictated onto my phone. These accumulate while I’m writing the stories.

Book ideasBut is anyone interested in what goes on in an author’s head?

Do readers really care about the work that goes into writing and producing a book?

Would you be interested in finding out?

Let me know by commenting below or contacting me through my website.

I’ve never really recorded the process of writing a novel, so I’m intrigued to find out how I work and what issues I need to address. As the weeks and months go by memory fades. The brain becomes full of new ideas and issues to attend to, often leaving vague or distorted recollections.

For instance, I couldn’t find a way for my hero, Kent Fisher, to solve the murder in my first novel, No Accident. Despite repeated attempts, it took a publisher to become interested in the novel and a deadline before I worked out a solution.

I don’t remember how I wrote myself into this problem. I recall the frustration and failed attempts to resolve it, but little more. Now it’s one of the anecdotes I relate during talks – I created such a perfect murder, even I couldn’t solve it.

I don’t know if anyone believes me but they usually smile.

So, with my thoughts turning to No Smoke, the fourth Kent Fisher mystery, I’ll record anything of interest and talk about it on Robservations. It won’t be every week and there won’t be any plot details or spoilers revealed.

CoffeeI hope it will show what goes into creating a book from nothing more than an idea or thought to the finished eBook and paperback that you can hold in your hand.

It might even help readers to understand the work and emotion that goes into producing something that’s often bought for less than the price of a cup of coffee.

But that’s another story …


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