Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Update on "Headshots"

I’m writing this in a word processor, intending to paste it into my blog entry page when I get home. For some reason I’m not able to log into my blog from work any more. I can view it, but I can’t log in. Possibly it’s a temporary glitch on our end, or maybe on Wordpress’s end. Whatever, I’ll write this in Word and see if I can publish it later. [Update: I got home and discovered the problem wasn't with Internet Explorer, because the exact same thing happened when I tried to log in with Chrome. So it appears my other blog, a Wordpress blog, is broken. Not just my blog, but the website as well, because the login is for all of them. So I'm going to post this on my other blog, a day late.]

Work has been very slow of late on my novel-in-progress, Headshots. I’ve written about this in the past, describing the genesis of it, the premise, the difficulties I found in writing a sequel, the struggle to deal with the sagging middle, etc. I realize I don’t have too many fans out there clamoring for the sequel to In Front of Fifty Thousand Screaming People. But a few will be interested.

Headshots stands at about 67,000 words. I last worked on it on April 28th. At that time I completed a couple of fill-in scenes, picking up lost plot threads and advancing them. I feel pretty good about most of those threads. I have one more to go, about a freelance reporter who is kidnapped by the Mafia. I never really resolved her situation, even with two fill-in scenes. I wasn’t sure how to complete that. The way now seems clear, however, and I can use that as a means to tie back into the Mafia guy who ordered her killed, send him into a rage, into his end game.
And, except for that one more fill-in scene, that’s where I’m at: the end game. Ronny Thompson, the protagonist, will finish his second full season in the majors. His injuries prevented him from doing the incredible heroics of his first season, but he still performed well. He has to make the decision on whether to have immediate surgery on his shoulder, or to put it off due to things going on in his home life (Oh how do I say this without revealing the whole plot?). This part of the book is fairly well laid out. I have to gather main characters all in an out of the way place, but I have that figured out. I have to have the protagonist himself cause something that he has to overcome as the major event in the end game, but I’ve figured that out.

So what I’m saying is that from this point on the plot is very clear to me. I think it’s going to take 15,000 to 20,000 words to run it out. That will bring the book in somewhere around 85,000 words, or maybe 90,000. That’s right where FTSP was. That’s a little longer than I expected it to be. I’ll blame it on the freelance reporter.
Unfortunately, except for bits and snatches, life is going to be hectic for the next ten days or so. I don’t really expect to be able to begin work on this section of the book until perhaps May 17th. At that point, I think I can finish it in not more than three weeks.

So when will the book be available? Well, after completion of the first draft, there’s simmering, cover design, two rounds of edits, final typing of those edits, maybe one last read through. Then I’ll have it read by beta readers, perhaps just a couple. Then incorporate what they suggest and publish. Some of these things go on simultaneously, such as the cover design and maybe even the beta reading and the editing. I’m not going to do a launch team with this novel. I found that too difficult with Operation Lotus Sunday. All in all, this comes out to having Headshots for sale sometime around the first of July, or even a week or two after that. That’s two months later than I had originally hoped for, but the best I could do.

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