For those of you dying to know the progress of the sequel to Good Cop, Dead Cop, I will inform you that I’ve entered the deadly dull outline stage. You see my usual way of writing a new book is to just start hammering away at a scene I particularly like, and it doesn’t have to be the opening scene. I then jump around writing scenes that amuse me and I usually keep typing until I run out of words, which is around a thousand.
In fact I can fairly consistently write about a thousand words at a sitting, which if I could manage it every day, means I could finish a book in about three months. Sadly, it doesn’t really work out that way, because eventually I’ll start wondering where all the scenes I’m writing fit into the overall timeline of the book.
Good Cop, Dead Cop took place over about two weeks, and The Background Noise of Souls will take place over about three weeks, with pretty much something taking place every day, so it’s important to make sure you’ve got the order of event happening correctly. You don’t want to kill off a character one day and have them alive the next.
So at some point I have to accept it’s time to start outlining and ascribing dates to events, something that’s a little more difficult when you’re writing a book with an alternate reality. But Christmas still falls on Dec. 25 and Hurricane Katrina still makes landfall on Louisiana on Aug. 29, 2005.
Why is Katrina important? Because that catastrophe plays an important part of the book similar to the Indonesian tsunami of the previous book. So I’m also researching Hurricane Katrina.
All this is in explanation of the fact that my output has fallen dramatically, but should pick up in December after the outline is finished.