Second treadmill session of the day. Second day back at “work” (freelancing), though I’m keeping to my schedule and Wednesdays are still writing days.
I’m maybe 25K from finishing a zero draft of Waverly 6, Sins of the Mother. It sat at 21K for over a year, because I had to write those other two books, and I’ve written nearly 30K in the past week. Alternating right now between some back filling and some forward momentum, as stuff in the latter part is informing things I skipped in the former. I have a lot of pieces of the books and mysteries ahead of time, but there is also a certain point where I just need to throw Waverly at it and let her figure shit out, that I then go back and weave in.
It’s sort of fascinating for me to look at how each book in the series is very different. I’m incapable of writing the same book over and over (even though I know I’d probably sell better if I could), which is how Demons of Oblivion ended up with different narrators, and Livi’s book still have a lot of variation in structure (and themes). Even Elis’s ended up like more of an ongoing serial, although each book has a beginning and ending.
The Killing Beach is very much a whodunit. A Wild Kind of Darkness is a 50/50 split between the a-plot mystery and b-plot mystery, and is also a whodunit. Alone at Night is a little different, in that there hasn’t been a murder, but the mystery is about looking into a young woman’s final year before she killed herself. Silent All These Years is…I don’t know, I have a lot to do on that book and I try not to think about it.
A Dark and Distant Home, though, is not a whodunit–it’s searching for a missing child. And Sins of the Mother? I…kind of ended up with a borderline horror book wrapped in a mystery. It’s extremely tense, and I love it but also it’s freaking me out a little lol.
The seventh, Beneath the Pines, is not a whodunit, because everyone knows who did it–they’ve just never been arrested. Waverly is hired by the victim’s family to prove the boyfriend was the killer in a cold case.
This will make the series a tough read for those expecting a predictable pattern from book to book, but since when have I done anything marketable? But the series is grounded in realism as much as possible, and that means Waverly is not going to solve murders in every single book. This is not (as is joked in The Killing Beach) Cabot Cove. She’s a private investigator, and that meant, for me, looking at things private investigators actually do, even though I have to still make it as engaging as possible. That affords me a lot more freedom than I would with a typical detective character (and allows me to go full ACAB).
Anyway, I am apparently full into hyperfocus on the book, and the trick right now during freelancing is to leave myself some gas in the tank at the end of the day, so I can write 5K or so in the evening. I have to drug myself to sleep and I keep forgetting to eat, but I am so much happier when I’m deep in a book like this.
Second treadmill session almost done. I have to answer a few more emails that came in while I was off work, and get some headway done on a cover draft. And book appointments/do adulting (October is…less than idea for my schedule).
But Waverly’s current, very scary predicament is a siren calling, and I can’t wait to get back to it.
Five weeks from today, A Wild Kind of Darkness is out! This is series is proving to be a problem child for sales, but I’m content with the writing. I should have the hardcover edition in my PO box later this week.