Musings About Writing Another Novel

Friday, August 12, 2011

Reading and Writing


Apparently, some people don’t believe that I read more than I write every day.  Yeah, I read my own stuff, too, to edit.  But that’s not what I’m talking about. 

Among the novels that I like are those by James Patterson, Michael Connelly and Jeffery Deaver.  Of course, I’ll grab a book written by Elmore Leonard anytime I can find a new one. 

At the moment, I’m reading a Bourne story by Robert Ludlum and Eric Van Lustbader.  That’s not my favorite style writing to read, but I’ve read all the Bourne series. 

Also, I have been reading some of the books by folks published on Kendle so I have some idea of what’s selling there.

When reading on an e-reader device or my EVO phone I like to see novels with shorter chapters and plenty of stopping points – like breaks between scenes.  I also think that short paragraphs are preferable. So that’s how I’m trying to write.  I’ve heard that mentioned by readers who are not writers a few times, too.

Like me, I suspect that many people carry their devices around and continue reading whenever the opportunity arises.  Many of these opportunities to read may not be very long.  So, having many stopping points throughout the story can be important.

And don’t you just hate it when one paragraph fills up the whole damn screen?  I do!  So I try to keep my paragraphs to six or less lines.   

That’s not how I was in the habit of writing before I started writing for mobile devices, of course.

Then comes the instructions from Elmore Leonard:  Interview your characters before you start so you know how they will speak and act.  Describe most of what is going on through the conversation between the characters, rather than just describing (declarative?) the action. And keep the story moving with different actions by different characters – some of which may be unexpected to the reader.

That sounded easy when I first tried it.  It doesn't work out all that well for me yet, though.

On the other hand, I don’t want to steal Dutch Leonard’s style, I want my own to develop.  And, in many ways it is.

Will people like the style that is developing here?  I can’t say.  Time will tell. 

My plan is to have three to five books published on Kindle and then start promoting the series on the net.

If those books sell, I’ll write more in the series.  If not, I have another idea that I know a couple somewhat large groups will be interested in.  But that one would probably be a one book deal.

Anyway, I’m amusing myself with what I’m doing now.  The first novel is selling a few every week with zero promotion.  Heck, I’ve even seen a couple people on Facebook mention it favorably – and they weren’t writing to me, either. 

If I can make a book cover for it, I may have the second novel published around the end of next week. 

What’s left of my somewhat addled brain is already outlining scenes from the third novel. 



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