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Posts Tagged ‘The Wolf Tree’

HAL_9000I’ve finished nine novels, but I’ve probably started a hundred.

Not a hundred different ones. Just the same ones, multiple times. And that’s where I am now.

Starting a project is, for me, a difficult transition. There are so many pivots to make–away from research, away from outlines and characters and structural thinking–and so many habits to suppress, that I get locked up, caught in a loop like HAL9000. Each time I start putting words on paper, questions arise, doubts are sown.

It’s hardest when it’s a brand-new project…like The Wolf Tree, the one I’m struggling with now.

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Piazza

Pen has hit paper on The Wolf Tree.

Admittedly, it’s nothing to shout about. I’ve merely written and rewritten the opening line about two dozen times. We talked about opening lines a while back, and the decision I made then was to take more time working the opening line for this book. Well, I’ve been doing that.

Ever worked on a single sentence for three days? (more…)

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The Wolf Tree

Life has begun (touch wood) to settle. Crises have subsided. Daily dramas have diminished. The weather has turned cold and windy and wet, calming nerves and dampening temperaments.

Now it’s time to get back to work. The Wolf Tree is once more underway.

I’ve had a few days off this week, and First Reader and I have taken long walks in the blustery drear, kicking around ideas like the autumn leaves at our feet. I’ve worked on the timelines for the intertwined stories, settled on names for the major characters, and started to flesh out their personal histories.

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Stack of BooksFirst, a welcome to our new subscribers. At some point we popped up over the 200 member mark, which I find pretty cool. So, thanks, all, for your interest.

My free time this weekend was spent backtracking. I’d started my research of Seattle’s history at 1860, heading up the years toward 1874, but it became clear that for my purposes, 1874 Seattle was just too big a town. I want a setting that is rougher, more primitive, and a town that is smaller.

Picking 1874, the backstory for my main “Old Seattle” character included experience in the Civil War, possibly with injuries, certainly with trauma. I wanted a reason for him to immigrate to the West, but also a reason for him to recoil from society and live outside the town. (more…)

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Stack of Books…and why it matters.

I’m still researching Seattle history for my next book, The Wolf Tree, trudging through Thomas Prosch’s bone-dry but fact-filled Chronological History of Seattle from 1850 to 1897. I’m up to 1871, which is within spitting distance to my target of 1874.

Some people might say this is a bit over-the-top for what is essentially a secondary story line in a mainstream/non-genre novel, and I’ll admit, I do have a tendency to over-research.

But you know what? That’s just tough. Deal with it, peeps. I won’t apologize or change.

Here’s why. (more…)

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Stack of BooksFor the past few weeks, I’ve been doing research for The Wolf Tree. It’s been an education, in several ways.

Seattle isn’t like New York or San Francisco or London. I don’t have dozens of books to choose from, rows of scholarly tomes filled with history, details, and anecdotes. (more…)

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Stack of BooksYeah, sure.

“I write because…because I must,” he said as he fell back in a swoon, hand to forehead.

Blah, blah, blah. Flip it to the B-Side, Sonny.

[Jeez…how many of you don’t know what I mean by “B-side,” I wonder?]

Let’s drop the dramatics and be real for a moment.

The truth is, if I never wrote another word, if I never ventured another sentence of prose, I would not die. Yes, that’s right. If I never wrote again, I wouldn’t spend my life in abject misery. I wouldn’t feel the lack of a pen in my hand like the ache from some phantom limb. I wouldn’t bemoan the globe’s loss of my mellifluous prose (nor, most likely, would the globe).

No, I do not write because “I must.” Nor do I write for fame (duh!) or fortune (ditto!). Nor do I write for the approbation of my peers (hell, they’re so busy they can’t even find time to read my books, much less swamp me with approbation.)

Obviously, there are reasons I write. You don’t write nine novels without sufficient reason. But do you want to know why? Seriously, do you want to know?

C’mere. I’ll tell you. (more…)

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