As I stated in my previous post, I’ve started work on my next book project. It’s a non-fiction story set in rural England, 1945. Part mystery, part history, and part thriller, it may also have elements of a ghost story—although I’m not entirely sure about that just yet. The book is going to be something of a mish-mash. The trick, of course, is not to make it read like one.
A good amount of the research has been done. The source material for the story in question is stored at the British National Archives. Seeing as a trip to the UK won’t be possible until Christmas—when I head over there for two weeks to visit family—I ordered a bulk of documents about two months ago. They arrived on my doorstep a couple of weeks ago. I’m currently working my way through them, trying to put them in some chronological order.
As a rule, I prefer using primary—as opposed to secondary—sources. For this project, however, I’ll be relying heavily on some previously published material, including the memoirs of one of the story participants. Memoirs are a great resource for an author, as they’re the next best thing to actually being able to sit down and interview the person in question. In this case, the person died many years ago. Fortunately, said individual was a great writer and left two volumes of excellent autobiography.
Although I still have a bit of research left to do, I’ve started the writing. With past projects, I’d set a daily quota for myself—usually between 500 and 1,000 words. I’m taking a different approach with this book and have adopted a hit-and-run approach. I don’t force myself to write something every day. I simply put something down on paper when it comes to me. If a sentence—or fragment—hits me, I write it down. If something doesn’t come to me for several days, I stay clear of the keyboard. It’s a nice change of pace and a refreshing way to work. I don’t feel the overwhelming desire to produce.
How long I stick with this method remains to be seen. The contract for the book is still being ironed out, and I’m not yet sure of the deadline. Once an actual end-date is decided upon, I may have to put myself on a more regimented schedule.
I doubt I’ll be discussing the writing process too much on this blog. Generally, I don’t like revealing a lot about a work in progress out of fear I’ll jinx something or throw my momentum off track. Once I’m done with a book, I’m more than happy to discuss how it was put together.
In other news, Penguin emailed me the typeset pages for Human Game! They look great. My editor wants me to go through them and get any final corrections back to her by Monday. That doesn’t leave a lot of time! This will be, I believe, the fifth time I’ve read the manuscript. I think I know the whole thing word-for-word.
Well, I guess I better get reading. Until next time . . .