Saturday, April 1, 2017

Switching Things Up

Scott D. Parker

Remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned how awesome it was to finish a book before the last day of the month in order to have a break? Well, I achieved that goal for March this past Tuesday. Not sure what happened here but I wrote the shortest of the three Calvin Carter books but actually took two days longer. I’ll just chalk that up to the mushy middle when I needed to right the ship and the story.

Anyway, I finished the story in my early morning pre-work session. I went to the day job floating on a cloud as I always do when I complete a novel. All day long, I didn’t think about writing at all. Ditto for Wednesday. I mean why would I? The next novel would be started until today, 1 April.
But something happened on Thursday. I got the itch. Not to write the next Carter book. No, I start those on the first day of each month. But I wanted to write something.

So I pulled out a novelette I had set aside late last year and re-read it. I made the corrections—implementing some writing techniques I’ve incorporated in writing three novels this year—and then I got to the part where I left off. Now, it was time for new content.

This novelette, however, has a different style than the Carter novels. A more pared down prose than the occasional flowery language I use when writing about the former actor turned railroad detective Calvin Carter. I had to remember the style and match it

I wrote nearly 2800 words over the past two days on that novelette. It was a great exercise, writing something completely different. It was still a western, but the style was different so it felt like a nice break, even though I still pounded the keys.

It made me wonder if other writers do this frequently. Cleanse the palette so to speak.

How about y’all? When y’all take a break, do you simply not write or do you write something completely different than the piece you just finished?

By the time this goes live, I will have started the fourth Calvin Carter novel. Unlike the previous three—in which I discovered the title along the way—a working title presented itself as I cast about for the plot. I immediately wrote it down and named the Scrivener file thusly: Calvin Carter and the Brides of Death. I’ll see if it holds.

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