“Begin at the beginning,” the King said, very gravely, “and go on til you come to the end; then stop.”
– Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
“Best advice I’ve ever received: Finish.”
– Peter Mayle
Sounds easy, right?
I doubt “the King” was talking about writing a novel (I never read Alice in Wonderland), but I think A Year in Provence* author Peter Mayle was.
When I wrote UNDERWATER, I did begin at (what I thought was) the beginning. But it didn’t turn out to be. To guess what I mean, click here and “Look Inside” to read the first few pages.
Now I’m working on Book 4, another thriller with tie-ins to UNDERWATER, and I’m at that part between the beginning and the end, where I must “go on.” (I’ve written about un tiers – a third – so far.) While I’m behind on my goal of 50,000 words** by Thanksgiving (looks like it will be Noel), at least I’m hitting my plot points. And when I’m finished, I’ll stop.
(Then I’ll begin revisions, editing, etc…but that’s another post.)
“Going on” right now is work, and it can be hard to focus sometimes. Doubt creeps in…and I push it away.
This book, like UNDERWATER, is set in Atlanta, and scenes take place in fictional neighborhoods here, with a few (real) landmarks as anchors. And, like in UNDERWATER, characters are not based on people I know, and events are made up. Drawn from my own experiences, observations, and imagination, they interweave and eventually turn into a novel.
“Focus more on your desire than on your doubt, and the dream will take care of itself.”
– Mark Twain
* Which I have read, as well as many of his other books
** Which is well over the mid-point of the story