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I'm horrible about scattering my thoughts.Â I can't shut down the idea machine long enough to really work out a good idea. I'll get a good idea and start with my pre-writing. I'll work out some notes, outlines and character sketches, but as soon as I actually start writing I get another neat idea and start pre-writing on that. The result is three novels (one crime caper, one detective story and a humourous Anti-Clancy submarine novel) in various stages of incompletion, outlines for another two or three books, outlines for a dozen short stories and more character work than I should have ever done. For all that effort, I've only got about five short stories and a handful of rejection letters to show.It is entirely possible that I could one day become a prolific writer if I can ever shut my brain off.
I can relate here big time. I've written one novel (really badly) and have never taken the time to edit it or rewrite. I have a book of short stories, too. Like the novel, it's nowhere near close to being published.Every writing book suggests we write, write, write -- everyday. As reporters, we must write about 2,000 words today -- more than that if you consider blogging, stories-in-progress, and the un-Godly number of e-mails the job requires.We should be book machines, right? I read a really good strategy to getting a book written, and I forget where. This was a tip for writing a book in a month. To get to novel-length, you need 50,000 words. So this book said to write 1,667 words a day for a month. That gets you to 50,000 words in 30 days. Of course you need to find the time and energy to do it.I like your true crime story book idea. I've always thought it'd be fun to write non-fiction using fiction techniques -- Truman Capote-style. Whenever I get in a slump, I read a John McPhee story. For some reason, his attention to detail -- and descriptive style -- gets me rejuvenated. I keep a copy of "Oranges" on hand in case of emergency!