I’m almost 30,000 words into Book Six in my Loveday Ross Cornish mysteries series. It’s been progressing slowly and steadily, which is great considering the different approach I’m trying with this novel.
My cast of characters came first, as always, and I’ve fleshed the new ones out with a CV and backstory. I even write a little potted history and description of places my characters visit.
This is also the first time I’ve plotted my ending first. I took advice from some of my crime-writing heroes.
The late PD James said, “I always know the end of the mystery before I begin to write. Tension should he held within the novel and there should be no longuers of boring interrogation.”
And in Mickey Spillane’s opinion, “Nobody reads a mystery to get to the middle. They read it to get to the end. If it’s a let down, they won’t buy anymore. The first page sells that book. The last page sells your next book.”
No one would disagree with those words of wisdom.
The ending must make logical and emotional sense. In respect of my Cornish crime series, it must also be cliff hangingly exciting. Loveday must be plunged into danger, which she overcomes – or maybe this time she doesn’t?
I know I’ve just said the ending first. It doesn’t mean I have to stick to that. Writers can change everything. The power is ours. Ha!
I have also resisted the urge to edit as I go this time, or to chase after research when a need for more information crops up – quite a tough discipline for a woman who likes things tidy.
This is paying dividends though as I can write much faster – usually between 1,000 – 2,000 words a day with ease. In fact, it’s not even ‘a day’ more like a couple of hours first thing in the morning. But I do write every day, even if it’s just a few hundred words. It’s the single best way to keep the entire project on track.
Once this first draft is finished it will be ‘rested’ for a couple of weeks. Then it’s all ready for the magic to happen – the rewrites!
But that’s another post for another day.
Have a wonderful week everyone.