Friday, January 6, 2012

A Writer's Week #1

In this new feature, I'll chat about the writing that I did during the past week. Hopefully it will be an interesting insight into one writer's creative process. As for me, I'm hoping that it will help keep me focused on what really matters here--having another Assignment with Eric and company chronicled for you to enjoy by the end of this year.

As I wrote yesterday, I had all of last week off. In addition to doing some very fun, unwork-related things, I was also able to make some great writing headway on the new book. I took the little plot twist that I hinted at a while back and built upon it.

I really think the book is coming along nicely. I was able to write 2,900 or so words. Right now I'm in the middle of chapter seven. So far, I'm only up to about 28 pages, which kind of worried me at first. In Sharky and the Jewel, it took me 70 pages to reach chapter seven. Yikes!

But then I realized the reason for that. In Sharky, chapter one is real long, and--while I think it moves pretty quickly--there was a lot of setting up of the whole premise. The events in the new book so far move along pretty quickly. It's a pace that I think is pretty effective. I'm moving from scene to scene smoothly.

So, although I've got a lot of chapters done, I'm really still only a little past the introduction. As I envision the book, I think it will be around 200 pages, just like the last one, but there will be a lot more than the 27 chapters the last book had. I think this will make for an even faster paced book.

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson is a little over 450 pages and has a ton of chapters--79! I think it's a gripping read. How long, or short, do you think a good chapter should be?


  1. Sounds like you were able to get a lot of writing done! That is great. I like for chapters to be varying lengths. As a teacher I like when most of the chapters are between 3- and 10 pages because it allows me to read a chapter or two with my students (either through read aloud or reading groups). When all the chapters are 15-20 pages long we often don't have time to read the whole things. Also- a lot of kids like to read a chapter- even if they don't have a ton of time because they feel like they accomplished something.

    Best of luck as you work on book 2. :)

  2. Stephanie''The first book has a bunch of short chapters. The new one will have more.

    Here's a little known fact about Sharky and the Jewel. The first chapter is so long because it was originally three chapters that I wound up editing down to one so that the story moved more quickly.

    I have a whole chapt about Stig telling Eric about his background that I cut out entirely. One day I'll post it. I always kind of liked it, but sometimes you have to make some tough choices!

  3. The best feeling is when you make the tough choice and are content with your decision- sometimes one hard choice can show the way to a better sentence, description, etc- great that you are moving along so well! ~ Jess