Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Novel in the Works

It’s been over a year since I finished the novel No Refuge. I swore, never again. All in all I spent close to a year and a half on that project although there were weeks when I didn’t write a word. The plot lost direction at times, foundered, but eventually, most of the problems were solved. But despite the feeling of accomplishment, I wasn’t really happy with the effort. It had “amateur” written all over it. I read every day, usually at night and not more than a half hour before the sandman comes along, but I know what good writing looks like. Authors such as Pat Conroy, Sebastion Junger, John Sandford, and Greg Iles leave me shaking my head at their talent. I’m too old and without the education to ever reach the rarified air that those guys live in. But the thing is; I like doing it. Almost on the same level as photography, dreaming up a story with plot and characters and getting it on paper—well, a data file—is an outlet that I truly enjoy. I read somewhere that the second effort by a wannabe writer is always better that the first. We shall see.

Last September, I started working on another novel that I’m currently calling The Sheriff. Keep in mind that my work ethic isn’t up to the standards of real writers, my time per day ranging from none up to three hours, but eventually I’ll “git er done” as Larry the Cable Guy says. As of today, the end is in sight, three, four more chapters, tops. Of course this is only the first draft, the fun part, where I brainstorm and write scenarios and incidents as fast as my pudgy little fingers can type. The real work begins on the edit and rewrite and here it is almost July already.

I like this story. It features a county sheriff by the name of Lester P. Morrison. Lester made a brief appearance in No Refuge to track down a bad guy with the help of wildlife photographer Jim Cutter. Tired of constantly dealing with meth labs and dopers, the sheriff moves out to a quieter lifestyle in the Oklahoma Panhandle to live out his final years before retirement. The problems begin when an eighteen year old girl wakes up beaten, bruised, a victim of rape, and locked in a storm shelter with no food or water. Everyone but the sheriff is convinced that Melissa is a runway but Lester isn’t so sure. But was anyone in sparsely populated Cimarron County Oklahoma capable of kidnap and murder? Turns out there were several.

The plan is to hit it hard for the next couple weeks, finish the rough draft, and with the help of very nice editor lady, put some lipstick on this pig.

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