Yikes. How can it already be this late on Wednesday afternoon? Yesterday was the Fourth of July, but it felt like Sunday. That means today feels like Monday, but is really almost Thursday and the blog posts on Friday, so I’d best get my rear in gear.
Yes, yesterday was a holiday, but not for writers working a deadline. I banged away on the next Beau book all day long. I ended my work day at 55%. I know I’ve mentioned before that I count the words at the end of each day. Being at 55% means I’m only 5% from 60%, and 60% is magic because that usually means that the beginning of what I call the banana peel in each book. That’s the part where, for readers and writers alike, it’s tough to put the story down because everybody wants to get to the end.
For me the process of creating a book is divided into three parts. The first 20% is usually the most difficult. That’s where I need to introduce the characters to the readers. There are the new characters who are specific to whatever book I’m writing. Then, because I write series, I need to bring all the ongoing characters into the picture as well. This is a tricky process, not unlike walking a tightrope. I have to introduce on-going characters in a way that allows readers new to the series to feel at home while not boring long time readers to tears. Yes, I know from blog comments that at least on of my longtime readers doesn’t appreciate those little recaps.
The middle of the book from 20% to 60% is like slogging through mud or the sandy dry riverbed of the Hassyampa River on a hot June day. The latter is a sure ticket to heatstroke. Don’t ask me how I know. That’s when I’m putting the pieces together and figuring out who did what to whom. Since I’m not an outliner, that’s how I find out about the story—by writing it; by telling the story to me.
When I hit 60% it’s time for a long, deep breath. By now the what’s happened has come into focus and being in that critical last 40% means it’s time to get to the resolution—to unmask the bad guy and put him or her out of business. That’s what usually happens in what I call the crashing climax. In Nothing to Lose, I had no idea that would involve Twinkle Winkleman literally driving her International Harvester straight through the locked security gates at a municipal airport. That really was a crashing crashing climax. (My grammar checker is busily pointing out that I’ve just used the same word twice in a row. Too, bad, Siri. As far as I’m concerned, autocorrect can go to he’ll. And just so you know, Siri didn’t like that one either.!)
So that’s my Friday morning day brightener. Now it’s time for me to make dinner which will entail warming up leftovers from yesterday. Once dinner is over. I’ll get back to J.P. When I left him last, he was about to have a telephone interview with an important witness. Just so you know, he’s not all the way there yet, but he’s on the right track.
Hope everybody had a great Fourth of July!