Back to Old Habits (Good Ones!)

Most of you have been with me since before I finished my first book. One of the habits that I developed during that wonderful experience was that I tended to finish chapters late on Friday nights while other people my age were out and about and enjoying their summer vacations. Well, I think the last two chapters I’ve written have mostly been written on Friday nights.

So, onto the newest chapter. It’s chapter nine in my second Andrew Banks novel. And I kind of lied to you all when I told you that chapter eight had Banks seek out his homicide detective friend for advice. That actually happened in this chapter. He was unable to give Banks any new information but he was able to track down a detective he knows in Austin who is more than willing to help Banks out as the case takes him away from home. There were some other happenings, BUT I can’t give everything away, right?

Also, due to my lack of writing lately I’m going to give myself a set number of words to write before midnight next Friday. The number I’ve come up with is 10,000 words. It’s not astronomical, but it’s also not something I would do in just one or two sittings. Hopefully it gives me a much needed jumpstart!

It’s Friday! Which means a new….wait a minute

That’s what I must have told myself when I sat down to work on chapter nine on Monday, that it was Friday. It wasn’t – at least not in this particular reality – but I still managed to start and finish the latest chapter.

I noticed that come July 31 I’ll have spent two months writing. I’m thinking that I’ll have 9, 10, 11, or 12 chapters complete by that date. So what does that mean? Well, it means that it’s time for me to pick up the pace a bit. I’m writing about a chapter a week, which is fine, but I want to double my output, for several reasons.

First, literary agents don’t always jump at the opportunity to represent first-time, unknown authors, no matter the quality of the work. The process of finding the right agent can become elongated if initial queries are sent out without an agent agreeing to represent the work.

Second, there are two major book writing contests that I’ll want to enter my final work into. They are the cream of the crop when it comes to these kinds of things and are judged solely by agents, editors, reviewers, and other literary staff. The first of which accepts manuscripts until December 31 and the second gives about a ten day window at the start of the year. The ten day window is due to the volume they receive.

And third, because I know that my writing will not be adversely affected by my writing more. I mean, I’m currently only writing one or two days a week. There’s no reason that I can’t bump that up to at least three days.

Let’s discuss the most recent chapter. Andrew performs his first stakeout. One would think that it would be uneventful and boring, BUT is that necessarily true? I won’t say!

This chapter – for the first time – had me wanting to continue the story once it was complete. Writing this chapter had me feeling like I was reading a great book. I wanted to write and write and write to see myself what would happen next. The chapter ends on a mild cliffhanger with many potential directions.

I should have just written until I could write no more, but instead, I opened my country playlist on iTunes and listened to a little Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, and Keith Urban. Eh, I’m weird.