Bon Voyage, Bandit’s Moon

Now get out of here! Beat feet! Scram!

Every book I write goes through three stages.

Stage One is the beginning, those first 5–10 chapters. I’m completely and totally focused on the book, from when I open my eyes in the morning to when sleep snatches me away from consciousness. If I’m not sitting here, writing, I’m thinking about it. What happens next? How do I introduce this character? Is that a better way to transition to the next chapter? Dialogue between characters going back and forth in my head, morphing as new things occur to me.

Stage Two is the middle sections. I’m on a roll, but I’m not 100% sure how to get from here to the ending. The doubts creep in. Do I have enough story to actually get to the end? Is it too linear? Is it not linear enough? As well as thinking about what I’m writing, I also start thinking about the next book at this point. It’s still a 90/10 split, with 90% of my focus on the book in progress. But I’m starting to mentally work out plot points, new characters, the return of series characters.

Then there’s Stage Three. The last third/quarter of the book. I can see the end rushing toward me. I can jot down the last 6–7–8 chapters, with one sentence on what will happen in each. And I’m, at thought point, thinking a lot more about the next book. A 70/30 split, with 70% of my mind on the book that’s next. I’m not exactly on autopilot with the work in progress, but I know what’s going to happen, and when, so I don’t have to give it a ton of thought. I just have to get the words down.

And in Stage Three, I begin to resent the book on writing. Because if I could just finish the damn thing, I could move on to something new, something different, something I’m actually excited about.

That’s where I’ve been with Bandit’s Moon for the past few weeks….actually for much of February. Over it. Anxious to finish, get it out, and move on to Blood for Blood.

It’s not that there’s anything wrong with Bandit’s Moon. In the final readthrough over the weekend, I was able to appreciate how it holds together, what it brings to the Night and Day series table. It’s a bit darker than the first two books, and there are attitudes in it that I personally find repugnant. It’s also a bit more introspective, from Welles’s perspective, since he’s on the express elevator to Hell, and is going to have to do something that throws into question his own self-image. Such is character evolution. Sometimes they have to learn something about themselves, even if it’s not something that makes them feel warm and fuzzy inside.

But at this point, I’m ON FIRE to start Blood for Blood. So much so that I may actually start Chapter One today, while I’m doing my weekly backup and laundry. I’m done with Bandit’s Moon. It’s out, nothing more for me to do with it, no more to think about.

And it couldn’t happen soon enough.

By the way, the first teaser for Blood for Blood is in the back of Bandit’s Moon, but since you probably haven’t gotten there yet, I’ll share it with you.

It seemed like an easy assignment. Three or four nights, pretending
to be a vampire’s human fiancé. Not a normal kind of job for private
investigator Charlie Welles, but there were worse ways to earn his
pay.

Dinner with the parents. Light conversation. Things are fine until
Welles realizes that not everything is what he believes it to be. And
then the bullets start to fly and the bodies start to fall.

An easy assignment. The hard part for Welles will be surviving to see
the end of it.

It’s going to be a fun book to write. As I told somebody, the early parts are almost romantic-comedy-ish. But I don’t write rom-coms, and as I say in the teaser, not everything is what Welles believes it to be…

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