The working title for my new novel is Silent Rain. When the novel opens, it’s already been raining non-stop for a week or two. The reservoir up river from Sherman’s family is overflowing and the dam is showing signs that it might go at any time. Pretty soon, it does collapse and all the water races downstream to wipe out the town below it. This sets off a series of events that finds Sherman searching for his family after he sees them get taken by an armed gang.At this point, I have almost 31,000 words. Sherman hasn’t found his family yet, but he has an idea of where they might be. He’s run into a monster, scavenged for food, and escaped from someone. I think he’ll eventually meet up with the rest of his family, but it may be a little while. Or it might not. He’s about to open a door and explore a place where he might find them, eventually.I’m finding that I enjoy writing as much as I enjoy a hot bubble bath. They’re both relaxing. They both offer an escape from everything else. I look forward to my writing time as much as I look forward to my reading time. I like to lose myself in the story when I’m writing as much as I like to lose myself in the story when I’m reading. The parallels are surprising.I didn’t expect this to happen when I set out trying to write 9,000 words a week. I thought I’d be lucky if I could get half that in a week. With my first novel, I was doing exceptionally well if I could get 2,000 words in a week. Now, once I get going, I’m doing 500 words in an hour.There are a few big differences between that first novel and this second novel. I’m not outlining or planning too far ahead this time. I’m letting the story develop as it wants to. I’m aiming for 150,000 words, but I’ll end it when it’s finished regardless of length. I’m not editing anything significant now. This is a first draft. Beyond simple word choices or checks for impossibilities, I’m letting the words go as they come. I’ll remove the boring parts later.One thing I’ve noticed is that when I have trouble writing in a spot, it seems to be that the part ends up being boring. It’s not exciting enough to make the words spill out, so it’s not exciting to read. Almost as if writer’s block was doing a service by pointing out where I don’t have anything to say anyway. I’m taking that as a clue that I need to skip on to the next exciting part. There’s no need to record every little detail that happens as the hands of the clock sweep around.Hopefully I can keep the excitement up and share some of it with you once I’m done. If I stay on schedule, expect the novel to come out at the end of summer. Sometime around September. Keep an eye on the progress bar (on the left side of the page) to see how close I am to completing the first draft.
James is a software developer and self-published author. He received his B.S. in Math and Physics and his M.A. in English from Texas A&M University. After spending almost two decades in academia, he now works in the Washington, DC, start up world. View all posts by James