First, the cartwheels. I have just finished a very rough first draft of the first book in my fantasy detective series, Frames. Now I set it aside for a week, and remind myself to savor the sense of accomplishment. Then the real work begins, as I read through it, make notes, then revise.
This is my fourth novel.
Having completed this draft of Frames, I see some encouraging trends:
TIME NEEDED TO FINISH THE FIRST DRAFT:
Longest time: first novel – 7 years!! I had issues with writer’s block. Eventually forbid myself from rewriting or rereading the prior day’s work.
Shortest time: fourth novel – 8 months – aided by time in bed recovering from surgery, where I wrote the second half in 7 weeks.
LENGTH OF FIRST DRAFT MANUSCRIPT:
Longest first drafts: novels 1 and 2. Editing required deletions.
Shortest first drafts: novels 3 and 4. Editing required additions.
My novels, in reverse chronological order, are:
Frames, Book 1: Nica of Los Angeles. First book in a fantasy detective series that is a missing person case in this dimension, a battle between good and evil elsewhere. Available probably by the end of this year.
Scar Jewelry. A coming-of-age drama about a family with secrets, set in the present and in the 1970s punk scene in Los Angeles. Now available as an ebook and trade paperback.
?Was It A Rat I Saw?, a psychological thriller involving a series of murders, real-life split brain research, animal rights, and a love quadrangle. Now available as a serial, soon available as an ebook and trade paperback. A few hardcover copies from the first edition are still findable on-line but I hope you buy one of the new editions instead!
Headliners, a character study about rock fans who travel the country to follow the tour of a life-altering opening band. Coming next year as an ebook.
A Novella of Unknown Trends
I also wrote a detective novella, which I cannot add to these trends because I remember nothing about the writing of it, except that at the time I was the mother of toddler twins:
C.R.I.M.E. Science, Book 1: The Beginning follows a misfit group of scientists and techies who investigate the death of a volcanologist. Set in Eugene, Oregon circa 1999. Available as an ebook and trade paperback. Next book in the series will be in Los Angeles in 2014.