I think it time that we have a serious discussion about writing crime fiction to keep this blog from becoming boring.

I propose that those of us who write commit to writing three chapters in our current novel and report to each other (via this blog) on our progress.

I'll start.  I've gone through a number of ideas on novels recently and settled on one named Alone with a Magic Death.  I'm on Chapter 4 at this time.  I commit to you my crime fiction friends that I will have Chapter 7 complete by the first of November.

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I'm polishing the outline of the next WIP, trying to decide when enough is enough. I should be writing by the end of the week.

Hey there, Dana King! Nice meeting you at Bouchercon last week!

I'm putting the finishing touches on the first book of a young adult science thriller I've been working on for far too long so my agent can start shopping it around this fall and I can move on to the next writing project.

Meanwhile, during the next month, I have 3 book reviews to write for the New York Journal of Books, and one blog post to write for Rogue Readers and another for Psychology Today.

And during the next two weeks, I'm totally swamped with conference prep work for my Backspace Agent-Author Seminar in New York Nov. 1 & 2. Oh yeah, and I'm a judge for the new young adult category for the Thriller Awards, and so my to-be-read stack is growing exponentially.

Can you say "overextended"? Haha.

I'm starting an anti-NanoWriMo group in which we all commit a month to polishing one page.

LOL.  Good for you!

This isn't a baiting question, I really want to know. Why do some people oppose NanoWriMo? There are some people who really get into it. And others who foam at the month at the mere mention. What's causing the divide?

I'm guessing here, since I've never contemplated such a thing.  It takes me a year to do a 70,000 to 90,000 word novel.  I work slowly, revising as I go.  My feeling is that you don't get anything worth reading if you just dash off a novel in one month. However, since we have instant publication now, I think a lot of people hope to produce a novel a month and sell it, making money.

I took part in the "Three Day Novel Writing Competition," once:


My contribution was co-written and it was linked short stories. The idea at the time was to get a first draft written and then revise. And that's what we did, we didn't win the contest, but we revised and got a pretty good book out of (it was published by a small press).

But now I also write and revise and take about a year (or longer) to write 70,000 to 90,000 word novels.

I remember Joseph Wambaugh said that if you write one page a day that's a novel in a year. I now figure 5-10 pages a week of writing and revising is about what I get done.


So it's just animosity toward people who are pushing out in one month (or three days) something that takes others a year to do?

I've not read enough of these kinds of books to make a determination about quality, but the one I did read I actually enjoyed. To the contrary, the conventional wisdom would say something that took you a year to do should be better than one done much faster than that.

Well, for me, there are stages to writing a book; research, first draft, revisions and so on. Now, I don't really know where the animosity comes from, but we're just talking about one stage, right, the first draft?

It took me quite a while of writing to realize that I prefer to write and revise as I go and that the idea of having a first draft done wasn't so important. But that's a personal thing.

I think a lot of really good books have had a first draft written quickly but then gone through a lot of revision. The most famous is probably "On the Road" (though it's not one of my favourites, lots of people love it).


I don't know what the rules are, whether you keep what you wind up with or revise the heck out of it.

I'm also a fan of the revise as you go method. Which means I'm out for participating in anything like NanoWriMo. I'd never make it past the first three chapters.

I'm waiting on the new agent, see if she likes my rewrites of a new suspensor featuring a new female lead character. She liked the first manuscript I sent her but wanted changes... More of the female lead (who I didn't know was the lead). Ha ha.

IJ -- thanks for your help with this one! What you suggested really worked!!!

Wow!  I'm so glad!  May the novel prosper!


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