Well if, indeed, the third time is the charm, I have reached a significant point in the writing of my third novel…it’s done! I have never taken longer, been more confused and confounded and have never felt so ambivalent about a manuscript upon its completion as I do this one. This means it is possible that I have just written my very worst book….or my very best. I do not think there is a between.
While I cannot accurately compare, given that I am not of the correct sex, but I sense writing books is somewhat similar to birthing a family. Oh, this one has a cute smile; that one has his mother’s good looks; and this third one? Where the hell did it come from? Are you sure it’s mine?
My usual method—if I have one—when I write a book is, first I have the overall plot figured out. I don’t physically outline, but I do spend a lot of time on research, assuming there are things that need researching. Then, when the mood strikes, I sit down and begin. I usually go chapter by chapter. I decide what needs to be accomplished in each chapter and then set about putting those pieces of the puzzle together and getting them down in some kind of basic structure consisting of letters, words, sentences, paragraphs and, ultimately, a chapter. That’s it—that’s my process. This book did not follow any of these procedures. As I mentioned in a previous posting, this book was written in sections, the beginning and ending first, then the middle. Yeah, I know, that’s how movies are often shot, but books aren’t usually written that way.
This book had a mind of its own. The original concept had something to do with a priest getting a young lady pregnant and eventually leaving the church and marrying the mother so he could be a true father to his daughter but she didn’t know he was her real father because he did not want to divulge that he was screwin’ around while embedded within the priesthood. I know, sounds kinda Thorn Birdie, but it wasn’t. Regardless I sent the Priest back to church where he belonged and changed him into a third-gen Irish American with a strong Catholic family heritage. Why that? I don’t know…just sorta came out that way. Then I made him have a career as a radio news anchor. Why that? Well, that’s the only thing that makes sense since it’s something I know about, having worked in radio all my life up until I retired a few years ago.
Now, from this point forward, the story sort of rambles on at its own choosing, taking me along for the ride because it needed someone to write it all down. It was a weird experience. Maybe I was possessed for the past eight months.
So, now comes the hard part…continuing with the proofing and the editing, the building of a website and the marketing. I also have to complete the cover. It is mostly done, but there is a little piece of art yet to be added. My deal with the artist has gone a bit sour, but I hope it is resolved soon and then the cover will be ready to go. Much to do, but I still hope to have the book in hand sometime in October if all goes well…just in time for Halloween which seems to make a lot of sense given how spooky it was to write. Uhhh, gotta go–there’s another contraction.