I’m underway and the past week has been productive. I guess a writer’s conference will goose you along and offer just a bit of encouragement; 7,000 words and well into Chapter 2. The outline that I started, got me going, helped to form an early strategy, but as always the story and the characters took hold. If you can manage the chaos that they throw in your way, the story should be a success.
The whole issue of outlining is a point of serious debate among writers. John Grisham admits he’s a slave to the outline, it must be followed. Some start with a general outline and dive in, and others track the story as it moves along, outlining ahead of themselves. Like sending out a scout ahead of the wagon train, I’ve always wondered what would happen to the settlers if the scout didn’t return. But he always did.
My outline is continually being manipulated as I move forward. New ideas pop-up on the page and then have to be dealt with, like unruly children. Sometimes the outline helps, other times it’s just another page in the spiral notebook. I remember last August, when I was trying to get my arms around the completion of Containers 4 Death (beginning done, substantial middle done, ending done – it was the pesky chapters 10 through 13 that were killing me). We were on a cruise in Alaska (contrary to belief, a cruise is a great pace to write), and I sat for a few damp yet glorious afternoons on the upper deck and was able to focus and complete the story – the result will be released later this month. For a writer, focus is an essential tool.
I’m ahead of my schedule and intend to stay that way, fingers crossed.
I am working on the ebook version of America’s Original GI Town, Park Forest, Illinois. If there is one intense part of the publishing and book writing industry that is under constant evolution is the ebook reader and working in the five or six formats that drive this nascent industry. Each has their own or approved format, Kindle, Nook, Sony, and the iPad. The iPad allows you to download the apps for all of the above compatible formats. There are at least 20 million of these devices out there in less than three years. I think that will double in the next year (Apple is announcing the next generation of iPad today). It’s not your Dad’s bookstore anymore. But what’s interesting is that ereaders also buy more paper books, kind of counter intuitive don’t you think?
There are great online services out there to help with conversions from word (.doc) and pdf to ebook formats; me, I a glutton for punishment – I’m doing it myself.
Trying to put the final touches on the Containers 4 Death cover and get its ebook version done – publication date is April 15, 2011. A hopeful author pushes forward.
More Later . . .