I've written here and here about how I've been helped by creative workshops organised by the Marcher Chapter of the Romantic Novelists' Association. The most recent one helped me refine the first ten pages of a new project, Tasting The Peach. I'm now turning this embryo into the initial draft of a full-length novel, using National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) 2014 to spur me on. NaNoWriMo relies on donations, and as I write this they've raised $1,034,544.78 so far this year. You can click on the figure to contribute, and help support the organisation.
I've never written a crime novel before, but it didn't me take long to work out they are books which are best written backwards. I started on November 1st with my two main characters fully formed in my mind, but only a vague idea of what was going to happen to them. I opened a file, called it Chapter One, and started to type.
I managed to keep my butterfly mind pinned on DI Josh Miller's unravelling of the conspiracy behind a politician's murder, but the plot twists were coming as much as a shock to me as they were to him. Who knew a bacon roll would play such a pivotal...well, role? I didn't, and I'm supposed to be the all-seeing author. I needed to step back and take a long view of where this book was heading. The trouble was, all I could see was the NaNoWriMo cut-off point of 30th November, hurtling toward me.
Then, courtesy of the publisher Wild Rose Press, I was given the perfect excuse to take a break from working on Tasting The Peach. The galley proofs for my next release, His Majesty's Secret Passion, arrived. Concentrating on checking everything was perfect before my new book goes to print gave me the change of pace I needed. My daily word count for NaNoWriMo suffered, but by working late and early each day I squeezed in some forward planning on motivations and motives for Tasting The Peach, too. This allowed me to catch up, once the proofs were checked. I'm now back on target for NaNoWriMo—just about!
If you're working on your own NaNoWriMo project, how are you getting on? If you'd like to keep up to date with the progress of my next release, His Majesty's Secret Passion, just visit my new author page over on Facebook, and hit the "like" button.