Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Anatomy of a Book – Work in Progress

The writing has started on THE AMALFITANO’S BOLD SEDUCTION!

It wasn’t exactly easy. While working on the notes and charts for the story, I changed computers three times, working locations twice, and the place I was staying twice. Before actually putting words on the page, I had to be sure I had the latest versions of all the preliminary files. Yes, I could have saved myself a lot of trouble by using a cloud service, but I’ve been dragging my feet on that. Meanwhile, a thumb drive is my transfer method of choice. I just have to the check file “save” dates with extra care. Added to answering email and tending to a couple of other things on my To-Do list, I got a fairly late start to my first writing day.
I also had to clear my desk the weekend before. Between finishing a book, helping manage Steel Magnolia Press plus spring and summer travel, things had really piled up -- as you can see from this “Before” photo. I spent several hours going through papers, filing or archiving what was important and tossing the rest. My trash can is full, and its contents will go to the burn pile instead of the dump for safety. But my desk now looks like the “After” picture. What’s more important is that my brain felt clearer afterward, more ready to concentrate on a story. Funny, but that’s the way it works.

So yes, I started work on Monday, August 26, at about 11:00 a.m., finished around 5:30 p.m., and put 2046 words on this WIP (work in progress) to more than make my daily goal of 2000 words. I actually completed the first scene in the heroine’s point of view, then continued the scene on Tuesday with the hero’s POV. The following days had the same pattern, with 2000+ words a day completed for the rest of the week. Yes! I made my weekly goal of 10,000 and am now well into Chapter 3, heading toward 10 - 12 chapters and 50 - 60,000 words.
Is the writing perfect? Good grief, no – this is a rough draft that will have to be edited at least twice. But it’s a nice start.

So far I’ve talked about where story ideas come from, dramatic story situations, naming characters, character charts, title choices, brainstorming, chapter charts,writing in scenes and first words. Scroll down for more of this blog series on how I put a book together.

Since publishing her first book at age 27, New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Jennifer Blake has gone on to write over 65 historical and contemporary novels in multiple genres. She brings the story-telling power and seductive passion of the South to her stories, reflecting her 8th-generation Louisiana heritage. Jennifer lives with her husband in northern Louisiana.



Landra said...

Definitely love the before and after photo. My desk tends to stay at like the 'before' photo all the time. I try to be the clean and tidy gal, but my creativity suffers when I organize :)

Jennifer Blake said...

Yeah, organizing doesn't exactly come natural to me, either. Sometimes, I set a kitchen timer for 15 - 30 minutes and work like a dervish to clear the backlog of papers -- can't understand why there's so much paper when computer files are supposed to help with that. And don't even mention my email inbox. Talk about a disaster area! Creativity does take precedence, though; I know beyond a doubt that my desk is going to look like the "before" photo again before the WIP is done.