I have completed two new novels in the past year: a novel about an art heist that takes place in Italy; and a novel about train robberies that takes place in Minnesota, USA. The first one I need to go back and change. I sent it out to two excellent editors who both came back with the same comment, that a couple of the characters didn’t fit the rest of the story. So at the moment the art heist one is a work in progress and some rewriting needs to be done. That’s fine for me. I like to have some ongoing project to work away at. The second one, about the train robberies had already been half written and abandoned because the plot was too farfetched (see my blog post from Sunday, July 24, 2011, “How I hate that drawing board”). After a major overhaul of the plot, I wrote the rest of the book and it is now under scrutiny by my editors a second time. I am hoping to publish it soon on Amazon.
So, so far, I have published four novels, with two on the way, two books of light verse, and two books of poetry. Whatever next! Who knows maybe I’ll try some nonfiction next time, if I can find a suitable subject. In any case, writing is somewhat of a compulsion. Not everyone is afflicted with the illness, but those who are start to get nervous/irritable/unbearable if there isn’t some writing project to work on. Writing novels in particular is a bit of a catharsis.
I’ve heard several authors say that when they start writing a novel the characters begin to take on a life of their own. They start to develop in unpredictable ways and sometimes a minor character begins to play a major part and what you thought of as a major character starts to recede. When I was writing the train robbery book I remember I had to leave off writing for a few days (I think I got sick or something) but after a while I started to feel a little guilty because I’d left one character in a very tricky situation that would remain unresolved until I started back at the keyboard again. They character was pretty relieved when I finished writing the scene!
In the meantime I am looking for a subject for a seventh novel. If anyone has any ideas, feel free to comment below.