"Who in their right mind wouldn't want to read a book by Mark Barry!" (Mary Quallo, St Louis)

"Who in their right mind wouldn't want to read a book by Mark Barry!"  (Mary Quallo, St Louis)
Coming next week - Carla Eatherington

Friday, 11 May 2012

The Process of Writing Carla

Because The Daughter of Satan (TDOS, as it is known), is about 650 pages long, I didn't get round to writing the fifth book mentioned in the business plan, but when I returned from Tenerife, I knew it had to be done.

That's what the plan said.

So I tried to do what one of my heroes, Jim Thompson, did and write a novel in a weekend. This would be Carla, the story of a discharged mental patient who falls in love with a much younger wildlife conservation student in the fictional town of Wheatley Fields.

I managed 48,000 words or similar, but I couldn't finish it. The book is too complex (and dark) and I lost track of the plot by Sunday afternoon. I didn't touch it for a week, maybe two, played around on the odd night, added bits, deducted others, and then on Sunday this week (6th May), I decided to finish it for once and for all..

Of all the books I've written since November 18th, this was the hardest.

Maybe I'm tired. Maybe I'm burned out. Maybe the subject material is too dark for such a miserable time of year, with its foul weather and eternal grey skies. On Wednesday, I stared at a screen for hours. I never stare at screens. Blocked like a drain full of newspaper. I don't usually get writer's block but I got it then.

Today, I started writing at 10 am and worked till 8pm, but that still left two chapters to go. Taking a break at the gym, I came back, brought four cans of cider and a bag of Kettle CRISPS, cleaned my desk and summoned Doctor Wicked.
Doctor Wicked is the trade name of an inventor who has invented a device which forces you to write a certain number of words in a time you choose.
It's a great site for a writer on a deadline. I love it. So tonight, I got home and wrote 5,000 words in five one thousand word chunks, half an hour each, leaving my nothing but odds and sods and a little editing to do tomorrow morning. With any luck, Carla will be on Amazon by Wednesday and I can FINALLY go out an sell some of these 'ere books.

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