What's next? Reading and writing...lots of both!

Spring comes slowly to the Adirondacks, but eventually it comes. 

We still have frosts every night, but sometimes we can see the sun. 

I'm still burning wood to heat my home, but daylight lasts until after seven in the evening, and I don't have to drive to and from work in the dark.

I've been reading a lot lately...homework.  Parker books, Stephen King, Elmore Leonard, Lawrence Block.  I've also been trying out some location-specific fiction writers, trying to get a feel for how good writers make a sense of place pervade their story (in the hope that I can do the same in my work).  In addition, as a result of lurking in the Amazon bestsellers lists watching an eBook of mine climb the charts during a KDP giveaway, I've downloaded and have been reading a lot of what might be called 'the competition'...lots of good crime and mystery writing out there in the self-pub world.

I just published a not-so-short story, "Mickey Slips" which throws Tyler Cunningham into a messy situation that he is uniquely qualified to handle.  I'm happy with the way that the story turned out, and am looking forward to the next writing projects (both literally and figuratively).

My editor took a first look at the next story, tentatively titled "240 Minutes", and we both have some shared reservations...it's a story designed around a time limit, and the pacing is a problem at the moment.  Yesterday afternoon, I had some ideas about how to move things around and streamline the narrative a bit, and I'm hoping to start that process this afternoon.

I've also been playing with the idea of a story that takes a look at Tyler's first 'case' .  I had the characters and setting and feel of the story worked out a month ago, but when I started writing, the conflict rang false to me, so I put it away, hoping it would fix itself somewhere in the backrooms of my brain; it did, last night.  I feel that once I can shuffle the parts of '240' around satisfactorily, I'll be able to write this introduction to Tyler as a detective/expeditor pretty quickly.

I've also been getting more and more of a feel for the novel that I'll be writing this summer.  I can picture the general shape of the story, and am getting to know some of the characters.  I've taken to carrying around a steno pad, which I use to jot notes and ideas about details that come to me during work or while driving or cooking.  Before starting "Here Be Monsters", I had a similar steno pad with 50-60 pages filled with scribbles, and each morning before I sat down to write, I'd enjoy a cup of coffee while reading through it to remind myself of things I'd liked enough to make note of...

Besides working on stories, I'm also interested in this kind of writing...working on my blog, and hopefully the blogs of other writers and artists.  I'm hoping in the next month or two to feature some interesting people on my blog, and in return to visit their blogs via interviews and guest posts and the like...we'll see how it works.



1 comment:

flask said...

jamie, darlin'.

will you tell me if any of your new stories are un-scary enough for me to read?

also, i'm coming over there in a couple of weeks and i want to buy an autographed copy for my mom.

my mom does not camp alone in places where the story takes place, and she likes murder mysteries.