November 20, 2007

Today was another good day for writing. Whereas yesterday I arranged scenes, today I shifted and re-arranged whole chapters. That's when the writing gets exciting for me. I tend to write first drafts quickly, to have something to work on, then the writing slows down and the thinking takes over. Then at some point it all starts to come together and it can move very swiftly again.

Recently someone asked if I knew where I was heading when I set out to write. I had to answer that very often I don't. I might know the characters and the genre, but it's usually experimental for a good part of the early writing. For the most part, I just follow my instincts. This latest book gained a major character (Donny, the protagonist's best friend) that I hadn't even thought of before I started writing. It also shifted from a classic murder mystery to a more literary mystery early on. That required a whole change in the tone of the book. Though there will still be a murder and a body, the book will have less of a whodunnit feel and be more about the protagonist, Dan, who is a flesh and blood person rather than a one- or two-dimensional character. At this point it also looks as though the story will have a somewhat unresolved ending, more in keeping with real life.

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