Work schedules, plus a fast approaching freelance deadline, have temporarily left me in the creative lurch. I’m not sure why. I always thought late July and August were slow times at work. People were either going to leave for vacation, currently leaving for vacation, or long gone on vacation. Not so this summer. All of a sudden, the work load has exploded in intensity which means my creative output has slowed.
But I haven’t stopped. I may be turning out fewer words than planned but I’m also doing other things like research. Earlier this week I played hooky. Yeah, the deadlines got to me and I just had to get away. Luckily, I took my camera because I walked by some amazing old Victorian houses. They are perfect descriptor-helps when I start writing about That House Everyone Knows But No One Talks About.
I’ve also been reading other mystery/thriller novels per Stephen King’s advice in his book, On Writing. He suggests reading everything – the good, the bad, the ugly. And boy, is it all out there. The good thing about reading crappy novels is the fun quotient in an otherwise stress-filled day. Another is the simple realization of, this person got published?
Then there are the days when I stumble over pure gold, like John Katzenbach’s The Wrong Man. If you’ve never read it and if you are a mystery fan, get a copy. If you are a writer, get your hands on a copy. You won’t regret it. I read a LOT of books but the plot line and more importantly, how this story is told is so intriguing and original, I couldn’t put it down. It gave me so many ideas of how to better structure my own writing.
This brings me back to the actual writing. Thanks to this weekend’s dune with a view, I rewrote my prologue. Sure, I’d promised myself to not slack off into rewriting until the whole novel was done (just write the thing, darn it!) the flash of insight was too good to pass up. The original prologue was overly dramatic and typical and dated.
The restructure is simpler, cleaner, and offers hints of a dark something shoved away, but not quite forgotten.