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The Vanishing Girl – A Progress Update

As bits and pieces of our lives return to normal, I’m writing every day. My latest project is The Vanishing Girl, book four in the Darkwater Cove series, which will hit Amazon in mid-July.

Readers occasionally ask for a peek behind the curtain at my methodology for creating stories.

How I Write

The most common question I receive is whether I prefer to write “from the seat of my pants” (make the story up as I go along) or write from an outline.

Neither. I’ve tried both. Story beats work for me. What I prefer to do is write a brief synopsis of each chapter, key scenes I envision, and clues which help readers zero in on the evil dude causing all this havoc.

This methodology works for me because it keeps me focused and shows me the light at the end of the long tunnel (writing the first draft of a novel takes 60 to 90 days at my pace), while allowing flexibility. If a much better idea or twist occurs to me, I simply alter the notes and carry on. 

I’m about 55% through the first draft of The Vanishing Girl. As soon as I finish the draft, I’ll do a second draft and revise the prose, add description where it is lacking, pull unnecessary information, clean up errors, and generally try to make the sentences “flow” better. The next step is a strict proofreading draft, after which I turn the novel over to my editor. These revisions typically take two to four weeks to complete. Then I’m ready to publish.

What do I do while the editor reviews my manuscript? I start the next project. This keeps me busy (and out of trouble).

That’s it for this month. I hope you enjoyed this look behind the scenes at the creation of The Vanishing Girl.

By the way, you can pre-order The Vanishing Girl today and automatically receive the book on your Kindle on release day.

Stay safe, and talk to you soon.

Pre-order The Vanishing Girl

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