Writing A Novel #4 I Still Don’t Have A Title Yet

This is a weekly blog which charts my progress, or lack thereof, as I write the fourth book in my Eddie Flynn series. 

The “weekly” aspect of this blog has become a little loose. Apologies for not posting last week. I can make it up to you. More of that, anon.

I’m just over 10,000 words into book four.

What have I been doing for the past month? In truth, I’ve been editing book three, and doing copy edits for my US publisher on book two, The Plea. This is a common difficulty when you’ve got a few books under your belt. Once you’ve written the novel and submitted it, quite often there is a lot of work still to do. This work is time consuming and means you have to put aside the novel you’re writing. If you have the luxury of being a full time writer then you can, depending on how you work, split your time between editing the book you’ve handed in and working on the new one.

I can’t.

I’m still a full time lawyer. My writing time is limited to a few hours every evening.

Some of you might be thinking that’s a really bad way to work. To be honest, I don’t mind. My publishers are very understanding and I mostly hit my deadlines. The other thing is that even if I’m working on book three, I still have book four bubbling away in my head all the time.

This is a good thing.

In terms of writing process – I don’t really have one. There’s no outline. There’s a central idea. Sometimes for me to work I need a little thinking time. In fact, for every hour at the laptop I probably spend two to three hours thinking about it. I can be thinking about the book as I drive, while I’m making a cup of tea, before I go to sleep at night. Any time, really. And I think that having some time with the book in your head is really beneficial.

For example, in the chapter I’m working on at the moment – one of the characters has a box sitting in front of him. No spoilers here. I’m not going to tell you which character or give you any details. All I’m going to say is there is a character sitting at a table and in front of him is a box. He doesn’t know what’s in the box.

When I wrote the scene where he’s sitting at that table I didn’t have the first clue what was in the box either. Honestly.

I couldn’t wait to figure out what was in the box. Then I got some work sent through which meant I had to put the novel aside for a little while. For the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking about the book, and thinking about that box. I write suspense novels. In a way, part of the test for me in evaluating my own work is to ask myself if I’m desperate to know what happens next. If I really want to know what’s in that box, my hope is the reader wants to know too. It could be something unimportant. It could be really important. It could be a severed head, or a note, or an object, or something completely innocuous.

I’ve had some time.

I know what’s in the box.

And now I’m really glad that I had to come away from the book for a little while. It gave me time to peek inside the box.

In other news, book three in the Eddie Flynn series has a new title. It was previously called The Oath, and with the help of my publishers its got a new name. Book three will be called THE LIAR.

I’m really excited about it. Plans are afoot for a May 2017 publication.

In the meantime, while you’re thinking about what to put in your own box, can I suggest you check out a new podcast. I’ve teamed up with good friend, and great writer, Luca Veste to launch Two Crime Writers And A Microphone. We’re around here on iTunes. The podcast is free, it’s fun and we get to talk to the best book reviewers, writers, agents, publishers, you name it. Check it out.

See you next week when I talk about wheel spin. Yes. It is a thing. And it’s really helpful to me.