Friday, October 22, 2021

Pit Stop

Just the other day, I wrote about how the solution to GCMB (Golf Course Murder Book) was going to be to write from the beginning, ten thousand words in a row.

But then, I had happy hour with my friend and story editor Chadd, and he told me that what I actually had to do was write the murder scene as committed by each of my seven suspects. He said, "Don't write this as Kathleen West, Author. Just write bullet points."

I did more than bullet points, but it's just an outside story about why each of the people in my novel would have killed Kit, how they got the means, and then what they might have actually done. Golf club to the head? Golf cart rolled back and forth over her neck? Shotgun from outside the fence? 

While I've been working, the exact place of the death has also taken on some significance. I might write some backstory today about Hole 6 of the Harmony Valley Golf Course. None of that, obviously, contributes to my first ten thousand words, but also? I'm learning a lot about the story. I think and hope all this thinking and bad writing will hasten my process down the road.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Getting Serious

I'm getting serious about drafting my next novel. To be completely frank with you, I should have been serious about this a few months ago.

It's not that I wasn't serious about it at that time. It's just that other things took up a lot of space in my brain and also I'm trying to do something new. That's always just hard. I generally write totally out of order in the beginning, and then when I have like 40 or 50-thousand words, I start to put the story in order.

But for this mystery? With the golf course murder? I think I might have to go from the beginning. A mystery requires quite a great deal more plotting than my other fare. 

So far, I've written about 20-thousand words. Just a couple of days ago, I started to go chronologically. This means cutting and dragging some stuff around, and also just writing new stuff.

I'm starting to think I can do it. Time will tell. When I get to 10k, I'm going to edit it and polish it and send it to some critique partners and then my agent. I've never sent stuff in such a small chunk before, but I think that's how it has to go.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Status Report

It's that time again. How's it going?

Teaching: The new job is a blast. The girls are funny and engaging and smart. The curriculum is fascinating and familiar. My teaching partner is a genius. 

Basically, I hit the jackpot with this gig. The downsides of my one-year part-time substitute position are very few. One is the students' tendency to have cool nails. Acrylics? Stickers? Elaborate polish? I'm not even sure how they accomplish these, but they make me feel insecure about my own chewed-up fingertips. 

Also, there's a faculty hazing ritual involving a holographic framed picture of White Jesus that appeared next to the 2009 encyclopedias in my classroom. This Jesus is labeled "Shepherd of the Shelf" and came with handwritten instructions to relocate him after a week. 

But, to whom should he go? This decision is causing some consternation. 

Running: I'm about two-and-a-half weeks out from a half-marathon. My training has been so-so, but also adequate. I'd like to run the race pretty fast, maybe the fastest I've ever run the distance. Still, if I don't, we all know it won't be the end of the world. Like publishing goals, running ones are best held loosely.

Writing: Stop it. Don't even go there. I'm taking no questions at this time. 

Ok, but, I am committed to writing 10k of my new mystery in order. This has started today. I have 500 words so far. 5% done. I'll report back.