What's going on?
It seems time to put out a blog to Inspector Stark fans and those interested in writing and how this madness works. Some teases about the next book are included!
Progress on book 8 is going well. I am approaching the denouement for the first draft.
As many will be aware once the first draft is complete, I will let it cool down for a few days and then go through the editing process with fresh eyes. When I say editing, I mean from the point of view of the storyline and the quality and flow of the writing coupled with pace and plot issues.
Plot wise, life is made easier because unlike many writers who write from the seat of their pants, which I have done previously, and is great to do, as you don't know what happens next, I plan and outline my book before starting the writing proper. I still don't know what happens next at that point, in any case, so it is fun. I find it easier to look at scenes and their order and pace in this way. It still deviates once you start because the circumstances and the characters demand it, but the basic events usually remain.
Back to plot editing. Once the final draft is complete; this, for me at least, is one of the most enjoyable parts of the writing process. There is nothing nicer than putting that final polish onto something, so that it is sparkly and bright. Using words to impact and immerse is the essence of writing in my view.
There is nothing exceptional in this process, many writers do this. Finally, there will be the editing for grammar and typo's, which is less enjoyable to me, but very important none the less.
As for the plot for book 8. We see dramatic events for a couple of the detectives which could be life changing. We also have the introduction of a new member to Stark's team.
There is a curious element to the plot which involves the manner of the deaths and some really intriguing, 'old school' investigative techniques which prove fruitful.
What gave me the idea for this plot?
I remember as a young police officer sitting in the waiting room at Mapperley Hospital which was a mental health institution in Nottingham. We were making some inquiry or other with a medical expert. I was with my sergeant of the time, who was a dry sort, and we kept meeting various residents who were interested to see us. Some of their behaviours were quite disconcerting to this young man of nineteen. My sergeant said to me, 'just imagine if we are not police officers, but we just think we are, and we are really residents but we don't know it.'
It amused and bemused in equal measure and maybe some of that little experience prompts the general background to the next book.
For now, I will type this mental health condition and say no more:
'Repetition compulsion, is a state of mind also called trauma re-enactment. It involves repeating physically or emotionally painful situations that happened in the past, even if it is to the person's own detriment.'
On a human level I have discovered that my laptop is playing up and the letter 'o' key now requires a lump hammer to make it appear on the screen. Still, I could be working down the pit.
Have a great day. It will soon be Christmas, would you believe? Remember to buy the Stark novels for friends and family and if you get a chance perhaps recommend the books at every opportunity, should you so wish.
Thank you, as always, for your support.