I don't know, maybe it's because I'm getting older (hitting the big 30 this year - eek) and everything just takes a lot longer, but I'm still working on the first draft - that's right still the first - of book 3 of my Reacher series. Back at the start of the year this baby was supposed to take three months to complete, two to polish and off we go to publish. But the best laid plans right?
Of course Booktrope got in the way - damn those pesky publishers thinking they can just sign me up - and then I had to assemble my team and go back to nurturing The Running Game. In the middle there was this thing called life, which always happens and yet still catches me off guard. But to be honest there was no hurdle that should have really held me up like I have been.
No hurdle except a mammoth plot which occasionally got a bit to big to handle. Book 3 is going to be none stop action, first I have to get Charlie back (remind me not to end on a cliffhanger again). Then there's the trouble with the serial killer, the evil Reachers, the Institute. After they're all taken care of - bang, bang, bang - it's time to bring on the big evil (oh yeah I spring that on you now). Phew! I'm feeling breathless.
Okay so that's my excuse. Book 3 is going to be huge so it will take a while. Get off my back. What do you mean I brought it up? Oh yeah I did. Well there was a reason for that. Three months over due I am finally tying up the last bit of the first draft. It's happening now (well not this instant because I'm talking to you - but you know what I mean).
After this things will snowball. The chapters will grow, the characters will develop (those that survive that is) and this book will soon be ready for beta reading. I can't wait. This is my favourite part of writing - the part when it all comes together and it's been so long in the making I can't wait to start.
First drafts for me are the hardest to write. All the ideas in my head are undeveloped and unconnected. They need to be bashed out in the right order, in the right way and for me this doesn't happen overnight (as you can see it doesn't even happen over three months).To write a tense thriller you need to have a plot that's strong, but also that will weave around an unpredictable journey. None of my Reacher series ends the way it's originally planned - it needs to be better, needs to be more interesting, needs to keep you guessing. And book 3 is covering a lot of ground too. This book needs to tie up everything in the previous books so we can move on to the bigger arch, because we are not even close to finishing.
So it has taken time - it's still taking time. Maybe like a fine a wine this book just needed to mature, but I can tell you one thing - I can't wait to fill up my first glass.