26 May 2011

From a serial writer's diary

Don't believe anyone who tells you writing is easy. Not true. It's bloody hard work, you need the stamina of a triple marathon runner, a gigathon runner. I never run. If it wasn't for the fact that I cramp up if I sit in my office chair too long, I would just sit there until I became part of the chair. I do have to go for walks in the park to stretch my legs and clear my head. I write so much, my fingers swell up - I could go on until boredom killed me. Mostly I don't pay much attention to these things. I have a chiropractor to take care of that. But I do believe it's important to stay in shape - although not marathon shape - otherwise the body gets exhausted before the mind. And the mind could use some fresh air too. So long walks it is ...
Why am I complaining about this?
I've just started Book Four of my new series. This is hard work! There's the research to keep track of, there's the different story lines to keep apart and alive, and I also have to keep developing my characters.
This is very much like writing a soap opera for TV, one of those long winded ones, where it takes eight episodes for a woman to change her clothes. Book Three in my series covers three days in mid-July – in 40.000 words.
In book four I hope to take the story to August. It's just that things happens, and I have to run with it. And some times that means using half the book on one day.
Normally one of these books takes me about two months to write. This time I'm going to see if I can manage in a month and a half. I want to finish as many books as possible before the series gets published. Usually there should be at least 7 books before the first is published. I'd like to have 8. I had this lovely plan in December. It was so neat and clear, full of deadlines and dates, and if I had followed it, I would have been finished with Book Five now, instead of starting Book Four. But life happens, and sometimes other projects interfere, and there I am. But I'm determined to make up for lost time. So this book should be finished by the end of June. That's my intention and I'm sticking with it. I even made a brand new plan!

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