I mentioned on Twitter that I’m missing my dad, particularly at this time of year. He took such pride in my nightly word count recaps. He was a writer, in his younger days, and always regretted not following up on a few leads he had. He used to ask what agents were looking for these days. I would tell him I’d let him know when I found out.
I haven’t found out yet, but I haven’t been actively querying. November is a time for creating something new. I’ve had mixed feelings about my work-in-progress, but it’s fun and even if it took a good two-plus weeks to start picking up steam, so be it. At first I spent a lot of time questioning having a story-within-a-story like I do, but the more I tried not to have it there, the more reluctant I got to write.
I’ve written mystery before. My first published short story was a noir detective story called The Case of the Bloodstone Dragon. It’s in Dragonthology from Untold Press. I will forever be grateful to the folks there for believing enough in my work to publish it. I almost called it The Curse of the Bloodstone Dragon, but I didn’t have enough room to go into the history of the curse itself. Maybe some day!
With this November novel, I’ve gone from horror/supernatural to mystery, which is a much better fit. Just because something features a ghost doesn’t mean it’s got to be classified under horror. Mystery it is. Right now it’s called The House on the Hill, which isn’t particularly innovative. I’ll change that up once it’s done. Today it sits at just a smidge over 45,000 words and I’m so happy to have come this far. I will definitely meet the NaNo word count, but I also know it needs to be almost twice as long as it is now.
First drafts, I always say, are for barfing out all the details. Revision passes are for deciding what stays and what goes, but all the words in this manuscript are ones I need to know. Even if nobody else ever sees them, I still need the backstory and background.
I’m having fun not censoring myself. Once November has run its course I’m sure I’ll be knee-deep in revisions, back to my regular critique group, back to the three or four novels I have that I’m still finessing…and this one.