Tuesday, 13 December 2022

Total change of gear!

For once, I'm loving the freedom of writing for myself! Having done three women's fictions (and rather enjoyed them, although I don't read much in the genre) I'm writing a new crime series. I'm about three quarters there which means, if I finish by the end of the year, I will have finished four books in a year. Blimy.

I've known other writers who can knock out a book - a good book - in eight to ten weeks but I didn't think I'd be one of them. I did write Finding Noah in ten weeks but then, I never sold it. Three of this years books have sold. I'm not sure about this one.

I'm going to show it to my present editor, partly because I genuinely want to know if she likes it and need feedback, but there is a line in my contract that says I have to offer them my next book first. I don't have to sell it to them, if they like it, but I'm curious to see what they would do with it. 

I'm also curious if an agent would like to represent it. Part of me still needs that validation of peer review. January will be interesting! 

Crime, like women's fiction, has expectations attached. Five suspects and two red herrings is the normal formula, and I'm very suspicious about fomulaic books. I've just read Diana Setterfield's the Thirteenth Tale (again) and followed it up with the beautifully cast but slightly disappointing film. The luxury of being able to write like that, as twisty and turny as the story needs, complicated characters that don't make sense but are so powerfully written, you just go with it. I don't even think it's a perfect book, I just couldn't put it down. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't get away with all the coincidences (how many motherless children? A toddler surviving in the wild?). I still enjoyed it enormously, and put it back on the shelf to enjoy another time. Seriously, it reminds me I'm just an amateur learning my craft.

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