I think I'm overdue for a writer check-in. I've been visiting a friend in Maine and enjoying fall color, walks in yellow-orange-red forests, and good times with friends. But there has also been some time to write (at least, to write those hasty #writephoto flash pieces!) and to think about writing.

"Thinking about writing" sounds like the sort of thing you do when you want to be a writer but don't want to actually do the work, so let me clarify. I'm thinking fairly specifically about a new novel in development (while I wait to see what I'm going to do with the one I worked on for the last year). I am, in fact, plotting my next murder while I walk (in a manner of speaking. No actual people are hurt in this plotting, though inattention to where I'm walking may injure me if I'm not careful).

The process of developing a new story is a somewhat long and convoluted one for me. I start with a germ of an idea. In this case, like the last, it was the discovery of the body. Great. Now I need to decide who that corpse is, and why, what else is going on in town at the same time, and of course, who did the dire and dreadful deed. And all the people who could have done it but didn't. So that's what I'm doing.

After thinking, I make notes. Sometimes I make notes while thinking, if I'm at the computer and not walking. I have a document open on my laptop into which I type all the thoughts and ideas, adding to what's there and making notes if I change things, but at this point deleting nothing, even if I think I've changed my mind.  I'm more or less using the "question method" (see very old discussion of this here), which in short means I list the questions the book has to answer (fairly easy with a mystery, but as I'm developing as a writer I am more aware of the questions that need asking beyond the simple mystery). Then begins the hard part--answering those questions. That's where I am now, with some hopes of having this thing ready to go in November to harness the energy of NaNoWriMo. Given I have less than a week, I may not make it, but I will probably still count myself in on the NaNo bandwagon and start writing when ready.

Maybe my next writer post (which will be the IWSG next week--where did October go?) should be about the pros and cons of NaNo. Meanwhile, I'm at least working some, and hope you are writing--and having fun at it.

Meanwhile, here are a couple of photos of Maine in the fall.

Webb Lake, Weld, ME

Tumbledown Mountain, Mt. Blue State Park, ME

 

©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2022
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