With Casual Business with Fairies set for pre-order and having sent advance copies out to beta readers, it’s time to start on a new project. My fifth novel is going to be a murder-mystery thriller set on a deserted island where a small group of people ends up following a plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico. Think of it as Cast Away meets Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. As with so many other stories I’ve written, this one too is inspired by a dream that I had.
With November in the books, it’s time to look back at how the month treated me. I penned 14,625 words in Novel No. 4. That put me at 142,336 words for the year and within 8 chapters of finishing my work in progress. So unless the wheels really come off the tracks, I fully expect to hit 150,000 words and finish the first draft of Novel No. 4 by the end of 2022. I’ll admit to being pretty pumped about that.
I also published a new book in November: Write Your Novel One Day at a Time: How to Write a Novel While Having a Career, a Family, and a Life. Here’s its first review:
In other news, November was an exciting month on The Write Approach. We added 5 new podcast episodes to the library. We doubled our downloads on podcast apps and tripled our views on YouTube. Much thanks to all our listeners and guests! Go check out our newest episodes.
11/19. I woke of this morning and realized that while I’m at the beginning of Act 3 of Novel No. 4, the only part of the rest of the book that I had any idea about was the climax. I didn’t know how we were going to get there. So I spent the first first hour of my day plotting out the rest of the novel. And I really like how the pieces have come together.
With that part done, I’m hopeful that I can type out the rest of the story over the next six weeks and finish it before the end of the year. That has been my goal for a while, but once things at work got so chaotic in August and September, I was uncertain whether I’d be able to do that. So now, I guess we’ll see.
For the November update: I’ve written more than 9,000 words this month, which is more than I wrote that I wrote in all of August and just shy of my total for September. As of this morning my word count total for the year is 136,766. If I do finish, Novel No. 4 in 2022, that may put me over 150,000 words for the year. It will be a close call.
10/10: The first 1/3 of October has been very productive. And I’m feeling good about the direction that Novel No. 4 is taking. I’m in the middle of the second half of Act 2, and the story is continuing to build. There hasn’t been any of that mushy middle that so many stories fall prey to.
As for the title, yesterday, I cruised right on past 120,000 words for the year. Depending how the next 2 1/2 months goes, 140,000 may still be in play. But more important than the number of words is that by year end, I hope to be closing in on the end of Novel No. 4.
9/30: September was a good writing month, particularly when compared against the month that preceded it. I wrote 9,431 words, which more than doubled what I accomplished in August. More importantly, I moved my fourth novel, Casual Business with Fairies, exactly to the mid-point.
Other things that happened in September. Forging Bonds (The Zauberi Chronicles, Book 3) released on September 20, completing the first trilogy in the series.
I launched a new podcast that I’m co-hosting with bestselling romance and mystery writer Barbara Hinske. As of this week, The Write Approach is four episodes in. You can find it on your favorite podcast app or check out our YouTube channel.
9/16: I’ve already written nearly as many words this month as I did in all of August. I’ve only missed two days of writing so far in September, thanks in significant part to a case that didn’t end up going to trial this week (We won without having to try it!).
I am now about 40% with the first draft of my fourth novel. And today’s writing session put me over 110,000 words for the year. Despite the setback that was August, I may still be able to finish the novel in 2022. That may be a bit of a stretch considering that I started it three months ago and still have 60% to go.
My new podcast, The Write Approach (which I co-host with Barbara Hinske), is off to a good start. We’ve released the first two episodes about where story ideas come from and choosing to write under a pen name. We are recording the eighth episode today, talking about how to write compelling antagonists.
9/5: Most of September has been made up of a long weekend, so it may not be a good measuring stick of what the rest of the month will look like. But so far, it’s been productive. No huge word counts to speak of, but consistency, which I prefer.
- 9/1: 425 words
- 9/2: 351 words
- 9/3: 426 words
- 9/4: 181 words
- 9/5: 567 words
Today’s writing session put me over 25,000 words for my fourth novel. If I can average 400 words a day, I may still be able to finish it by the end of the year.
Since I am a civil defense litigator in my day job, we live and die by the billable hour. Billing 160 hours in a month is roughly equivalent to 4 40-hour work weeks. August was so incredibly busy that I ended up with 220 billable hours.
With such a hefty work schedule, there wasn’t much time or mental energy for creative work. Still, I was able to write 3.5 chapters of my fourth novel. And I recorded six episodes of the new podcast I’m co-hosting with Barbara Hinske — The Write Approach — which launches on September 6.
I’m hoping for a tamer September.
7/30: 690 words. After a couple of days of not writing (6/28 and 6/29) because work came calling early, I got in some writing this morning and finished a chapter. It mostly had to do with fly fishing, which I haven’t been able to do in a while, which made me a little sad.