Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Writing and Procrastination

Sometimes the words just won’t write themselves. If this month were a writing race, I’d still be at the starting gate. I haven’t been motivated enough to prod myself into action.

My favorite part of writing mysteries is designing the crime, creating clues, and implicating innocent people. Making the plot work is a skill transferred from developing countless flowcharts during my computer programming years. The plot structure for Forever After, the third McGregor mystery, is already in my current manuscript. Now I have to fill in the gaps, and that’s less exciting for me.

To feed my procrastination tendencies, an annoying time-wasting habit has crept back into my life: watching television. Several years ago, I cancelled the cable tv and rediscovered spare time. I used that time to write. I have access to old series, though, and recently I’ve binge-watched seasons of several English and New Zealand shows I’d previously never heard of.

If only a giant Monty Python (BBC comedy) foot would drop down from the sky and kick me back into action.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Déjà Vu, All Over Again

During March, I revised and re-edited the second McGregor mystery, Murder Goes on Vacation, and sent it to beta readers. The beta readers gave me emotional feedback on how the story worked for them: what they liked, what bombed, whether story elements were misplaced, etc.

During May and June, I used beta reader and critique group feedback to re-re-edit the second book. I just sent this version off to be reviewed with an eye toward literary errors, which will lead to yet another round of editing.

Sometimes I feel like a hamster on a wheel with all the editing passes required to massage a rough draft into something a reader would want to read. It would be easy to put the draft down and walk away from it. I entertain that thought from time to time. Just move on to the third book—the new and exciting story. But I’m writing a series, and I really need the second book.