I thought I would keep a note of some of the things that happen to me in the process of getting one of my books out to you… I started this post on 10 March. 🙂
The Book: Kissing Alex, book 6 in the Bodyguards Inc series
10 March (words written 7,293)
In which I suffer the chapter 1 and 2 snaffu's
Well, I'm at that Oh My God It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time, stage, which always happens to me when I have chapters 1 and 2 on paper. I am 7,000 words in, and while I have Lewis' character solid in my head I am not fully invested in Alex. So often I end up deleting chapter one when I'm further into a book, simply because what I feel for my characters at Chapter 10 or so, is so different to what I imagined they would be at the start.
Alex has problems, secrets, and how does he react. So far I have him being perfectly pleasant, but hell I want him ansty and just ever so slightly rude. After all, he is an entitled diva, with more money than sense. Of course, we have the added fact that the London mafia are after him, but even so, would him being scared beat his general dickery (that is SO a word).
So today I am going back and redoing chapters 1 and 2 to get a better feel for Alex.
13 March (Words written 18,184)
In which I get an idea of character
It may seem to those that read this, that knowing your character should come a lot earlier than a third of the way through the book. But for me that isn't true.
I am a pantser, which means I basically sit at a computer and start writing. No plans, no outlines. I know the basics of my story, and I can imagine a couple of key scenes in my head. But, character evolves as I write.
So I am the point now where I can go back through the first 18,000 words and adjust character. I don't just mean how they look, or act, but their mannerisms and the way that they speak. My two men have just given each other *the nod* meaning they both have an inkling that the other one knows they are attracted to them. I love this part of the book, the back and forth, the verbal sparring, and the first kiss (which hasn't happened just yet).
I also, inevitably, have some supporting characters who, also inevitably, get their own page time. I use secondary characters to show something in the main character. How does a hero treat his siblings? Or his friends? Even his enemies. All these things are shown through hero interactions for me. Alex is a total top, we don't know about Lewis yet, well not in words on the paper.
I'm really feeling this story now. Which is bloody good news, since it's a third done… LOL
15 March (words written 24,349)
In which I amp up the suspense part, and try to get my heroes arguing.
So, some authors may well have the suspense story line all in their heads, or on paper, or actually put into some kind of plan. That isn't me. See, the entry for 13th March. I know what my suspense storyline is, in a very general way, but the actual specifics didn't make sense to me until today. I actually went back and added 1,000 words of story to flesh out the suspense and up the angst. I also added the first kiss, and that caught me by surprise. I expected it to be something a lot different to what it was. I was aiming for angry, but Lewis is just such a level headed, understanding kind of hero, that it's impossible to get him to argue at the moment.
I say at the moment because, under Alex's influence, and that of the Isle of Brae, he is slowly losing control, which I felt I had to pull back.
I can say one thing, I am absolutely loving writing these two. AND… I have Roman's story in my head already, so watch out for him in book 7 which I'm afraid wont make it to the writing pile until early 2017. *Too little time, so many stories*.
17 March (words written 27,401)
In which I decide exactly where this story is going, and realise I need to go back and fiddle with a few (a lot of) earlier details.
I am over halfway with this book now, and I often find at this point the story makes absolute sense to me. The characters are set in my mind, I know how each one reacts to the other, and also to outside influence. I also have the next five chapters all sketched out in my head. At this point I grab a piece of paper and I scribble down the shape of my story.
This is the REASON why this story occurs, the CHARACTER's motivation, and essentially what the setbacks and solutions would be.
This means I can now revisit key scenes and slant them a little to foreshadow what comes next. So, I guess, to summarize, at something like 55% of my book I am solid with the plan.
23 March (words written 32,565)
Yes, it's that point, where I think it's all rubbish and I need to start again. LOL. Every single book this happens, just as I have a concept of the last chapters and the direction to the finish. It's like *Everyone will hate this* *I hate this* *No, I don't hate this* *It's good* *I did okay* *Only Okay? Shit I need to rewrite*
Yep, you can see, it's not good. I'm just opening the file for today's three thousand words, which includes some action scenes and a finishing off of the sex scene. Wish me luck.
25 March (words written 37,360)
Real life just gets in the way
Easter is happening… I can't see a lot being written over this weekend. 🙁 It's weird but I am already feeling withdrawal symptoms from a need to get this story down on paper.
Around 13,000 words to finish and an end date of 31 March… No worries… I got this… (LOL)
2 April (manuscript completed at 48,136)
They did what on page 7? In which I finish the MS a couple of days late…
Well that last bit went so fast that I didn't even think of coming over to update this. I feel really happy with the completed MS and have sent it to Betas, and then on to editing.
So excited now…