Almost two years ago I started my 6th novel. Plotting and planning, then writing like mad. Research, plot adjustments, pondering, and more writing like mad.
Somewhere along the way, it crashed.
More precisely, I crashed.
Flashback to Success
On November 11th of 2011 I released 6 books simultaneously. (11/11/11, get it?) In the previous 6 months I’d written (or compiled) 4 books and co-authored 2 more, all books about business philosophy and process.
I switched to fiction. Finally followed up my first Irish adventure novel with a second, then started another series, and a third.
After I’d read An Uncollected Death and An Unexamined Wife by Meg Wolfe, she let me pillage her brain for thoughts on how she pieced together the stories, the mysteries, the characters.
How long did it take to sort the plot details for book 1? Creating the bits of the mystery, I mean. A month? A year?
It took me sixteen months to write that first book—there were two two-month spells where I couldn’t do any writing because of health and family problems, but of course I kept stewing it over in my mind even when away from the computer. There was a lot of time spent on learning to plot, then changing from a four-part to a three-act structure, which “felt” better to me. I was also learning to use Scrivener.
I developed the characters along with the plot. It really is character-driven. What happened was that I had many, many strands of interrelated stories that I braided together, changing and tweaking details by working backwards, then forwards again. The last third, Act III, went really quickly, once I got the first two acts properly braided. The same thing happened in the second book, and in this third one, as well. The second book took me a little over eight months to write. This one has taken me ten–I had some health problems again during the summer which really slowed me down.
Why the French Resistance? Special existing knowledge on your part, or just interest?
No one door opens and closes properly. Some do one or the other quite nicely. Some do neither.
The front door technically opens and closes just fine, but since we don’t have a key for it, well, there’s that. The screen door (no longer a storm door because half of the glass is missing) has to be kicked open and closed, which we wouldn’t except the mailbox is hanging right there beside it.