Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Back for a dip

I know it's been ages. I haven't been idle, but not working as much on HB as I'd hoped.

Something odd (or maybe not?) I started reading two mystery novels, different authors, different publishers, sold a year or so apart. Both started exactly the same way: prologue - evil serial killer villain's point-of-view as he licks his chops preparing to murder/mutilate a woman or child; chapter one - handsome/tough/rugged cop hero + his baggage vowing to catch the b*stard/scumbag; chapter two - beautiful/resourceful/yet naive heroine + baggage and/or kids who you know will either herself or her child appear in the villain's sights and thus be in mortal danger.

I'm disappointed by the sameness of these novels. The writing itself is good but not memorable, the characters are interchangeable and I forget who belongs in which book.

I may be absolutely wrong about all this clonery -- the books may take divergent paths, even offer surprises. But I won't finish reading the second one as tales about serial killers murdering kids are an instant throw away for me.

Predictability in any novel leads me to instant forgetfulness. And though I want the villain to meet his deserved lethal end, I might even snooze through the exciting car chase/falling-off-a-cliff/shootout unless there is something that sets it apart from at least one of the others.

Am I judging too harshly? Possibly. Perhaps I read too much. Or not enough.

This is just my opinion.


Friday, 17 August 2007

Already a revision ...

The muse has spoken. I've revised the beginning of chapter one.

I admit it had been rather dull, not much of a grabber. I don't know if this is much better, but I feel it's stronger. Still not an immediate plunge into the story, but a brief paragraph about the hero, enough to reveal something about him and pique interest.

The "plunge" occurs two paragraphs later.

This is just the start of the revision process, of course. There will be a thousand more.

--Cat (hoping to make it to chapter four)

Saturday, 11 August 2007

Time Passes

I've started chapter three of HB.

I thought I could just barrel through and write a rough first draft then edit later, but I can no longer work that way. Now I need to tinker with what I've written until it's (to my eye) polished.

I know I'll still edit again when all is done, for only then will I be able to see the shape of the novel, if it all works.

One interesting thing that came out of this -- I discovered a new character in chapter two. He's minor, doesn't have a lot of page time, but he'll make a splash on paper.

When I have these chapters whipped into best shape I'll post a few short excerpts.


Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Progress, or lack thereof

Where does the time go?

No, I haven't abandoned HB.

Chapter two is underway.

Brief outline:

chapter one:
~undercover cop is murdered in a coffee shop
~the only witness runs
~detectives are assigned to find her

Sounds pretty straightforward so far, like a million other mysteries. My job is to make it unique. Although the story centers on the witness, it's told entirely from the point of view of the lead detective. The reason for that will become apparent as the story progresses.

chapter two
~detectives begin looking for the witness by searching her home, talking to neighbors, learn startling information.



Wednesday, 4 July 2007


Chapter one, rough draft, is done. (1840 words)

Had to pause and go back to my saga--I had a sudden thought that a brief prologue is needed, to explain things.

So I toggle back and forth. But the saga should now be done, and I'll begin chapter two of HB.


Monday, 18 June 2007

Tiny Progress

I wasted some time this morning (a common occurrence, wasting time....)

I decided to change the name of the main female character, so I did a seek-and-replace on all pages that contained her name. I soon discovered the new name didn't read right to me. She started her existence in my head as H, so H she shall remain, at least until I finish writing the book.

Of course I went through everything again and changed it all back. I will call this "two steps forward and two steps back."


However, my first chapter is half done.


Thursday, 14 June 2007

Beginning and Ending

That's what I have for this new mystery. And some in between plot events. The rest will come as I write it. That's the plan, anyway.

I started with even more of a plan. I figured 95,000 words, a time limit of 8 months. So that meant approximately 400 words a day. Piece of cake, right?

Uh, not really. Not for me, who has a few too many interruptions by "real life" and other limitations. I can only try for that goal. And to do that, I need to get back to the way I wrote when I first started: get that first, rough draft down; save the polishing for later. My output was greater then. Lately I notice I write a paragraph then endlessly monkey around with it. By the time I'm ready for the next paragraph it's time for lunch, or supper, or bed, and I know I'll fuss with that same paragraph again the next day.

So I'll try.

And post occasional updates here.

The working title is HB. It's more suspense than mystery, though there is a murder and the main character is a police detective. But it's not about the solving of the crime, and the story is more about someone else. Confused? I'll explain more -- without giving away the plot -- as I go along.