Sunday Synopsis: First Draft Accomplished

Hi folks! You may have been wondering if I dropped off the edge of the earth as I haven’t been floating around as much as I used to. That’s because I have been very busy writing for the past month and four days. I started this project in November at 2340 words and parked it until May 4th, when I felt a strong need to get back to it.

Today I wrote my final words in the first draft on my first crime novel.

It is sitting at 57, 678. Yay me!

Now the real work begins. I haven’t done my first read through, but I thought I would jot down some notes about what I’m feeling about where we are.

I have few things I am eager to hear from my beta readers about. Mainly having to do with POV, the number of suspects, and running two major interrelated plotlines.

There is murder mystery and there is organized crime, each aspect offering flavors of crime fiction that can be very different. I know some people like solving puzzles, putting the pieces together, and others want high thriller action and suspense. My hope is that I provided both without disappointing one reader or another.

There are a number of people involved. There is a family law firm, and there is a nudist resort where the ancillary characters come from. That’s a lot of players, and I am hoping it isn’t too confusing.

I basically went in alternating POV between my two main characters, the detective, Richard, and his sidekick, Brandi. At about the mid-point, it is primarily Richard’s POV. I do have one chapter dedicated to my villain. There were things you, the reader, needed to know about the villain that neither Brandi nor Richard could tell you. Things only the villain could know. I also wanted to show the wickedness in a way that was indisputable.

Now, I am wondering if that might come across as too jarring, and I am thinking that to balance this, maybe I should give my murder suspects their own POV chapters. I dunno.

At any rate, it is what it is. Honestly, I didn’t set out to write the next great masterpiece. It’s genre fiction and I hoped to be entertaining.

My Alpha Reader is my husband, who reads two or three crime novels a week. He loves it all. I have told him to expect a cross between Charlotte Bronte and Tim Dorsey; Sort of a Charlotte Dorsey or a Tim Bronte. I don’t know if my writing style works with crime fiction, but the project is fun.

If you are not having fun, you need to be doing something else. Life is too short.

35 thoughts on “Sunday Synopsis: First Draft Accomplished

  1. Congrats on getting the first draft done. Not sure about the suspect POV chapters. I can see that being a little too revealing for a mystery story. It could be too obvious who the murderer is or the role of the suspects if things are seen through their eyes.

    • Yay! It feels good to finally type the final words onto the MS. I know this is the beginning in many ways. I just spent two hours trying to figure out how to keep the font in Times New Roman, double space, and get Scrivener to compile without repeating the Chapter headings and the first sentence to each chapter twice. What a pain. I am currently punching holes in a printed copy to put into a binder so I can read through it. Next, I get to see if I can make Scrivener compile it into ePub and Mobi for betas if they want it on a reader.

      • Yep. Finishing the draft of Northville was the beginning as well. There are several stages in this thing called writing. Look forward to getting a beta copy. ;)

        • Do you really want to read this first draft or would you like me to run it past my alpha reader first? The rocket scientist is going to tell me if this is worth investing more time in, or if it’s crap he wouldn’t pay money for.

          Honestly, it comes across as a bit superficial and cheesy to me. I dunno. It’s not that it so very cliche. The plot is…like all crime novels, done, but uniquely so. It is what it is. i am hoping my characters have agency and carry the plot a bit rather than the plot carrying the characters. Richard is not a pro…this is his first murder case and it is a cold one that turns hot. He also, incidentally gets pulled into the middle of organized crime by a transsexual entertainer he has only just met…but it’s not her fault.

          • I leave it up to you when you want me to read it. Personally, I would look to more than one person to provide the ultimate “yea” or “nay” on whether to continue.

            • I want to run through it first. I know there are a couple of places where I was lazy…like saying “Signs of forced entry” instead of describing what what seen. The spelling, punctuation and grammar are okay. I don’t doubt there are some typos. I haven’t even looked at it yet. I DID use some one word and incomplete sentences for emphasis…It caused me enormous internal pain, but suits the story.

              I am planning to have my alpha reader run through it. I also have a popular crime novelist I want to ask to take a look at it. And another crime writer who is published and has a writing blog. Then I plan to do it in twos. Have two betas take a look and use their feed back to see where else changes may need to go. Then have at least two more. I may be putting more into it than it’s worth, but I would rather take it slow. I have read some reviews on Tim Dorsey, Tim Baker, and several other popular authors who have written Florida based crime novels, so I am pretty well braced for the fact that there are going to be those who just simply don’t like it….no matter what I do. I’ll be in touch!

  2. Wow! What an accomplishment! I think you summed it up in your final sentences–that you need to have fun with what you’re doing. Good for you! I’m glad you had your celebratory ice cream cones, too. :)

  3. First off, Congrats! :D Finishing the first draft is a major accomplishment in itself.

    Editing is always interesting, good luck with it! Can’t wait to read it, it sounds really intriguing with every hint you give :)

    • Thanks! I am doing a couple of read through. One on paper and one on my iPad. Already see a couple of places where it needs some work, but still having fun.

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