My Process and a Snippet from Chapter 8 from The Kitchen of Eternal Youth (working title)

This is a snippet from chapter 8. It’s a rough draft, very first draft, no editing. Raw. Out there. I liked this character and her voice, so I posted it for your enjoyment. I have not finished the first draft but I figured, why not? Click here to read it.

I do like the title, The Kitchen of Eternal Youth. In this novel, Bill and Carey finally get back to the inn on Earth in their own time, 2012ish. This book centers on the wacky Humans. It also has as a subplot, the second generation of children, both Bill’s and Titania’s, Bill and Carey’s, and Bill and Reggie (the Hiverform) with the Carey doppelganger. Oh, it is a twisted tale I weave, for sure. There is lots of jealousy, princesses, jealous princesses, rich inn guests, who are jealous, too, lawyers, doctors, sheriffs, deputies, medics, and wannabe immortals. Titania makes a two prong power play to take over the inn. Since there’s a power play, there should also be a PowerPoint. It’s funny, witty, sad in parts, and just one big romp in the wonderful world of the Omniverse.

Some people here at the inn and also on line, have been asking about my process. I work in series. I rarely get an idea for just one book. I usually get ideas for entire worlds and that means multiple books. It’s funny, because at our art schools, especially our fiber art schools but also with the painting and drawing school, some of teachers have been creating gearing their classes to working in a series. I map out as many books in a series as I have ideas for, knowing that I may expand, combine or shorten later.

As I write the book, I keep copious notes. On the first book, The Inn at the Crossroads, (currently being read by Libby Sternberg Istoria Books), I especially kept notes of the time lines. There was more than one time line. Also in the second book, The Inn of the Star Crossed, (I just sent this off to Liz at Choc-Lit), I had to keep track of the fashions for each decade. It was harrowing. The women’s fashions changed every five year. The men’s not as much.

Like Stephen King, I don’t plot my books out. I get the seed of an idea and my characters take over telling me what to write. They rarely ask my opinion. I try to keep the story moving on track and keep notes of what may or may not happen to a particular character. Once done, I rewrite everything and then I rewrite everything again. When I have second draft quality, which, by the way, this snippet that I’ve published is not, I send it off to Colette, my editor, and she makes notes on it, tells me where she thinks the story is slow, or what she likes best, then she corrects my punctuation, spelling etc. When I get it back, I have a long conversation with Colette, and then I re-edit the book. I let the book sit for awhile, then I edit yet again, taking out the forbidden words. I’ll write an article on the forbidden words later. It’s a fun topic but fraught with pitfalls.

That’s my process for writing novels in a nutshell. When doing mysteries, especially murder mysteries, I do much the same except I make sure to show the body in the first chapter. See The Inn of the Star Crossed for an example of that.

Then I go to my list of agents and publishers and send out queries, samples, synopses etc. When I’m done with that, have written some blog entries, I sit down and start writing another novel.

Now, here are some interesting answers I have found on the web to some questions that may be bothering you about writing. First of all, word count. I never write to a certain word count. I let the story, the characters really, dictate the word count. Sometimes I write fairly longish novels, 90-100K words, and sometimes I write fairly shortish novels, 75K or less. I found a great guideline for word length. Click here for an article on word length.

To be continued…

(I am at 45K words on this novel. Halfway there. I hadn’t meant to post these posts so early but due to a WordPress problem, I did. Enjoy!)

Mark Vincent LaPolla Novels Writer Inn at the Crossroads Star Crossed

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