Yesterday I finished the rough draft of Bound for the Hills. I had begun the book 1/4/16 and finished it February 9, which meant 36 days (if I don't count the weeks or months ahead of writing where I am thinking and researching).
Since a few writing days I didn't write anything, some I wrote five thousand words, a few maybe only a thousand, I don't have an average number per day (and have no intention of ever keeping track of that. This is one of the first times I actually know when I started and ended a book). I write what I get and usually that is several scenes, but I like to have time between events to think what might happen next. I am both a plotter and a pantser. I know where it's going but how it gets there, I find out a lot along the way.
Whatever the word counts, it was a lot of hours, but I feel good about the book. Next comes editing and roughly I am guessing the book will be out in March but not figuring on a date until I do the first edit and know how many problems I have. I put off my edits at least a week, usually more, to get some distance. Anyway, this is a snippet from early in the book. Again, remember, it's a rough draft which means it might change.
Ironically, it had been her last year in high school when two events changed her life. A friend loaned her one of the popular dime novels. She had snickered through it, at the same time she was writing a thesis on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Twice Told Tales. The praise for the book had come from the greats of Hawthorne’s own time, not the least of whom had been Longfellow, who stated the short stories and Hawthorne’s writing was “characterized by a large proportion of feminine elements, depth and tenderness of feeling, exceeding purity of mind.”
It was then that her mind had begun to spin with the possibility of merging the dime novel with the elements of classic plots and her own writing. She had to learn about guns and such, but she found them rather interesting anyway.
A month later, she had sent off her first manuscript to one of the publishing houses, noted for the dime novels. A contract returned quickly, with an option for more. Was this her making or her downfall? In some ways, she thought, as she took another sip of sherry, it had been both. She had sold out the classics as she mined them for plots on which she spun a western tale.
When requests came for the mysterious author, Will Tremaine, to appear at book signings or to give lectures on the West, her editor, Matthew Jefferson, the only one who knew there was no Will Tremaine, brushed them off with various excuses. Having these lusty, sometimes brutal westerns written by a woman would never do was his reason. She had her own.