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!