Thursday, December 26, 2013

Holiday Season & Methodology

John here.

Presents have been opened, the meal eaten, a month’s worth of anticipation gone in a two-hour whirlwind of wrapping paper. And I’m heading to my second chiropractor visit in 48 hours. It must be the holiday season.
Keeley, 5, with her new bike.

My stand-alone “This One Day” (by K.A. Delaney, Five Star Publishing) hits stands Jan. 6. The book was bought 18 months ago. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to promote it, but I’m still confused by the release date, trying to figure out the rationale behind it. Not Nov. 6. Not Dec. 6. It’s certainly not a holiday book, but wouldn’t it be better to have it on store shelves for holiday browsers before Christmas?

I guess it’s neither here nor there. My focus of late has been on the Peyton Cote series. “Bitter Crossing” (by D.A. Keeley, Midnight Ink) comes out in August, and I’m pushing hard to meet my May 1 deadline for the sequel. I’ve got a bunch of things on my plate right now, including overseeing an English department and resuscitating a hockey program, so I’m looking for ways to make sure I don’t miss my deadline.

Two years ago, at Sleuthfest, I found Jeffery Deaver’s keynote address fascinating. He said he outlines for eight months and writes the ensuing novel in three. Sounds efficient. I’ve never outlined before. I’ve always described my composition method as something akin to entering a forest at midnight, and walking into branches until I see daylight. I’m a tinkerer by nature, and I can’t argue with Deaver’s record, so I’m trying my own version of his procedure: I spent a couple weeks turning a concept into a 3,200-word document that is part plot overview with part detailed character sketches that offer me a psychological profile of each major player. So far, so good. But it’s not the air-tight, fool-proof roadmap Deaver describes.

At the end of the day, though, I’m just thankful to not be writing on spec. It took seven years for Peyton Cote to find a home for three books (with an option for a fourth). The people at Mindnight Ink are terrific, and the RWSG agency has asked to shop TV rights.

Enjoy the holidays, and happy New Year!


Donis Casey said...

I love that "midnight" comment. That's my method, as well. Every time I finish a book, I consider it something of a miracle

John R. Corrigan said...

Thanks, Donis. I know a writer who makes a 100-pg outline for a 300-pg novel. I can't imagine that. But who am I to say...