Research Roller Coaster

So, yesterday was incredibly productive. I wrote 2,022 words in one sitting, and still had about an hour left to relax and re-read the story so far.

I gotta say, I really like it. It’s so different compared to ‘Vessels’. Tighter, less whimsical, and far less impulsive. I know I’ve talked about this before, but it still surprises me. How different two novels can be, even though they both come from me.

But, I should have known this. I’ve heard many authors say that each novel is completely different, and that a method that may have worked for one will never work for another.

So far, chronological is working for me, which is apparently not common. What I mean is that, so far, I have written both novels from the beginning through to the end. I’ve only heard of one author who follows this method, and when he voiced it on a panel, the other authors looked at him as if he were crazy.

Most writers I’ve met, or have read interviews or blogs of recommend outlining, and then writing what interests you. A sort of popcorn method. I tried that. And I ended up with 24,000 words of a novel I’ll never finish. See, I wrote all the fun bits, including the ending, and then got bored. There was no incentive to write the uninteresting parts.

Also, I have to write the end last, because if I write the ending then the story is over. It’s weird, but that’s how my brain works. If I write the end, then the story is over. I can edit, and tweak, and add things, but I can’t really continue to creatively forge the story with the ending already in place.

But, I do outline. A little. I have a rough idea of the ending, but it’s like a two line summary, not in scene. And, so far, both outlines haven’t been terribly accurate. ‘Vessels’ exceeded it’s outline by two chapters. Although it followed fairly close until the last few chapters. Things were intense in the story, and required more space to unfold than originally anticipated.

‘Cards’ is already ahead of its outline by one chapter. And chapter 3 isn’t even done yet. Which is exciting, because that means it’ll be longer than currently projected! Yay!

For those of you who don’t know, I have the opposite problem from most new writers. I don’t have sprawling manuscripts that need shaved down. I have short, too concise manuscripts. I’m working through it.

Yesterday I also had to research some gruesome things for this story. See, it’s a Steampunk/Wild West murder mystery. There’s a string of murders that are all incredibly awful. Tortured people and the like. So, I had to research torture methods, exsanguination, and how common heart attacks are during torture.

Turns out that heart attacks and embolisms are more likely to occur during torture than exsanguination. Especially in older victims. So, that was interesting.

Also, dying with eyes open versus closed really has nothing to do with how someone died. It does sort of set a tone though, so for the sake of the story, we’re going eyes open.

And, that’s why I hope no one ever looks into my search history.

So, the third chapter is gross, because Whit has to investigate a fresh murder scene, but it’s also incredibly sad, because he has to question the victim’s family. And we get to see our hero using his experiences to help others through grieving. So it’s also a little heartwarming.

One hell of a roller coaster to write, lemme tell ya.

Anyway, I’m gonna get cracking on the end of chapter 3, and then get some lunch.

Catch ya later, Blogland!




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