The Learning Curve

There seems to be a running theme around here.  I blinked and it’s the end of April.  And, just like the last update, I’ve been writing and dad-ing.  The Wretch (tentative title) is progressing well and for those of you interested in word counts and completion percentages, I’m THISCLOSE to 70K words and probably around 80% complete.  (Maybe.)  As a frame of reference, for those of you that read SARA’S GAME, it’s about 54K words.  I haven’t written anything this long since the first draft of The Two Crosses, back in 2004!

The past few novels I’ve written have been shorter, where I focused on the speed of the narrative, action-packed sequences, and keeping the suspense as high as I possibly could.  Of course that’s not a bad thing, but I’ve (admittedly) slacked a little on character development and back-story.  I’m really hoping that I’ve managed to fully flesh out everything in The Wretch.  It’s a bigger story, with more twists and turns, fuller characterization, and more psychological depth than anything I think I’ve ever written before.  I’m really excited about this one, and I hope you will be too.

I’ve also been reading Stephen King’s 11/22/63.  That’s a big, big, big book, both in word count and concept.  I’m about halfway through and still just absolutely amazed at how fully developed everything is in that novel.  I do think that it could’ve used some chopping here and there to speed things up a little, but that’s just my own personal preference as a writer.  Years ago, I read a quote by Elmore Leonard that has influenced my writing from that point on: “I try to leave out the parts that people skip.”  It’s absolutely why I write shorter, faster novels, but I’m learning from the feedback I’ve gotten from fans that maybe I leave out too much.  With The Wretch, I hope I’ve been able to give you a five course meal instead of a fast food cheeseburger, without sacrificing any of the suspense I like to incorporate.

The thing about writing is that it’s always a learning process and I really appreciate you being a part of the journey.  Keep those emails coming!

One Response to The Learning Curve

  1. Ann Bresnan says:

    I’ve been a King fan since ‘Salems Lot. Did not think 11/22/63 was as good as some of his earlier works.
    Glad the writing is going so well for you. Doing “Mr Mom” you never know how much time you’re going to be able to devote each day to your writing! Looking forward to reading The Wretch :)