Part of the goal of beginning a regular column on the blog, at least according to sources in the know, is to keep loyal readers (I know you're out there) abreast of developments and progress of the works in progress. Readers, and budding writers, I’m told, are interested in watching how a project develops, what stages of progression the writer finds himself or herself in and what processes are working or not working.
Publishers and other authors have told me that they truly have readers who are interested in following the process of a book's development. To be true, this is probably for writers who have many books and fans just salivating at the the thought of the next book coming out. For a writer working on book number three, I'm not certain how accurate an assumption this will turn out to be.
I find myself wondering just what it is that the blog audience wants to know. This assumes, of course, there is, in fact, a blog audience. Posting to a blog is not unlike working in radio, of which I have some, albeit extremely limited, experience. Unless one is having the listners call into the program, there really is no immediate way of knowing if, in fact, anyone is listening at all. A blog post is like that. Sure I could log into the statistical part of the site management tools to see how many people have popped by but surely half of those could have stumbled upon it by accident, also not entirely unlike working in radio.
On the one hand, how much does the blogging writer reveal about what’s happening in the story as it is developing? Too much, and I may as well be writing a serialized novel, like weekend newspapers used to do back when print wasn’t so expensive and people actually read the weekend papers. The idea itself isn’t so bad but if everyone is reading it while I’m writing it, who is left to read the final product? Too little and I’m basically keeping a scorecard of how much work is being done: today I wrote four pages, or 1, 167 words. Tune in next week for an updated total. It’d be like a telethon covering my writing.
So in the interest of not-quite-full disclosure, the latest saga starring Winston Patrick is currently titled W3.doc, though in the header at the top of the page I use the more colourful “Untitled Winston Patrick 3rd Novel.” The publisher asked for something a bit more indicative of the storyline as they started thinking about advance marketing so I think I came up with something along the lines of “Failing to Appear,” since the general gist of the story has to do with a missing person. I subtly avoided the J.A. Jance novel of almost the same name by replacing the noun of the title with a verb. Hopefully she’ll never know, unless I can convince her to write something nice about it on the front cover.
Winston discovers one of his previous students has been long-since missing after a hunting trip. The student’s body was never discovered and the way the incident was handled both by the family and the school leads him to question the version of events provided and unravel an increasingly complex series of events that may paint an entirely different picture than what is initially presented.
So that’s the logline. Here’s where we are so far: Winston has found out about the missing student and is beginning to investigate.
Hmmm….it seems I may still have a significant ways to go.
On the plus side, over the last several weeks – which is a long time not to be progressing much on the story – I have re-read the work so far and still kinda like it. That’s a hopeful sign because I always worry that I’ll undertake a project and find that by the time it’s done – or in this case, nowhere near done – the story is a flop and I don’t want to continue with it. So far that’s not the case.
Next week: what the hell is holding me back? One of my big problems: too many beginnings.