My Novel: Father Figure (Week 6 – Friday, August 11th, 2017)

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Writing a book runs the range from easy to difficult. At times, the words are exactly as captivating as you need them to be. In others, the words feel more stilted than one could possibly imagine. First drafts are only meant to be the initial release of the story in your head. I encountered both extremes during the course of the week, but in the end, it all came together quite nicely. I’m still baffled how six weeks ago this was barely a figment of my imagination and now here we are with 40% of the first draft written. I present to you Father Figure’s weekly status:

writer

Status:  Friday, August 11, 2017 – Week #6

  • Research
    • Let’s not discuss.
  • Chapters 1 thru 6
    • Editing went well. I cleaned up a few grammar issues. Dropped in a few connections for surprises in later chapters. Overall, there are moments in the story where I find myself a bit teary and at others excited. I should be ready to share two chapters with the beta team before the end of August.
      • Describing the onset of a winter blizzard in the deep fields of a small Ohio town has been intense. But some of the descriptions I’ve included feel like a few paragraphs of my best writing.
  • Chapters 7 thru 9
    • I committed to drafting three chapters this week and I’m happy to say I met the goal. I’m finally back down with a count around twelve pages per chapter, which is what I had planned. I feel good about not being too wordy, and I’m inclined to think the initial chapters have some backstory and/or descriptions which might be pushed forward a bit to balance out the page count and keep the interest in the action growing more fervent.
  • Chapters 10 thru 11 (BONUS!)
    • Ever the Type A personality, I wrote an additional two chapters this week. I have not edited them, just let the words fly from my fingers to the characters on the laptop screen. I’ll decide next week if that was a good idea or a bad one based on how well written they seem after a few days distance. But… it was important to push myself if I want the entire first draft complete sooner than the original plan.
      • TIP: Sometimes writers get caught up in details along the way. I wanted to name a specific music artist or song in a paragraph, but needed to research the perfect option. I had a choice: (a) take 15 minutes to find it and get lost down a rabbit hole where I lost the momentum or (b) add a “____” to be filled in later. Always add the line, you will get more done in the end.

 

 Next Steps: Plan for Week #7

    • Edit Chapter 7 thru 11 to match tone and voice of earlier chapters, include additional details and check repetition in words or phrases
    • Write chapters 12 thru 15 with a target to end up in total at ~ 210 pages & 65K words
      • At that point, I’ll be 55% complete with a first draft
      • At that rate, with 5 more weeks to finish the remaining 45%, a first draft needs to be complete by 9/16 when I leave on vacation. It will sit untouched for 2 weeks to let my mind process in the background, then I can begin editing in early October upon my return home.

What’s on the author’s mind?

  • Building characters is an incredibly fun experience. I’m not certain how other writers embrace the process, but for me, each one lives and breathes with me throughout the day. Let’s take Amalia, the main character, as an example. I know what she looks like and I watch in my head as she walks around a college campus.
    • I know the little flip she does with her curly hair
    • I notice the way the wind carries her perfume across the library entrance
    • I knew the adrenaline markers across her body when she’s afraid of the guy who appears to be following her
  • The campus is remarkably similar to where I went to school merely because I need a setting. I’ll adjust those particulars later as the visualization is about how Amalia behaves. She has a few distinguishing features (no reveals here!) and in order to convey them throughout the story without constantly repeatedly saying the same thing, I have to imagine
    • how her body would walk
    • how it would sit
    • how it would interact when she was intimate with someone
  • I’m not one for fluff, so I need to have a strong sense of not only how her body moves, but how she feels about the way it moves. When I add in the backstory of her relationship with her mother and father, it gets more complicated.
    • what words did her mother use to teach Amalia about femininity
    • how did her father handle his daughter becoming a woman
    • what happens when she goes from small town to college campus.
  • These are things that, at least for this writer, don’t just flow out of my head and onto the page as I’m writing. I need those details worked out in advance, incorporated from the outline into the book at the proper time. It’s a rather organized approach, but at the same time, I feel it brings depth to the character whereas if I just wrote it as I thought of the sentiments, it may not feel strong enough for what I’m trying to accomplish.
  • On a scarier note, I stumbled upon a few potential changes to an event that I’d planned to occur in a chapter I wrote this week. When you have a character with more than one love interest, you need to be careful to clearly show why (s)he would feel attracted to each potential suitor. Though I’d summarized a half page about each relationship in the outline, it didn’t feel distinct when I wrote it. I wasn’t convinced that I’d built a proper explanation or desire to distinguish what each love represents. I have some re-thinking to do which at first made me nervous, but now I realize it will help set up the conflict in a way that readers might not even be sure who they want to be together. I love a good challenge!

Are these tidbits confounding you? Raising and peaking your interest? Or you’re just waiting until I have something more real to share? Thanks for listening.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Summary of Father Figure (only read if you’re new to the book)

  • One young girl’s need to escape the mundane life she’s grown up in and another young girl’s quest to find her father, unaware of all the circumstances they’ve both been placed in due to decisions and actions occurring nearly 20 years ago and that both women have made in the present. How well do you really know your parents? Do they truly understand you? Can you ever truly escape the past?
  • A contemporary fiction novel set in two time periods with two primary characters:
    • 1998 – Amalia Graeme, about to turn 18, attends college, leaving behind a mother with whom she had a difficult relationship. While Amalia has a boyfriend, she’s secretly attracted to an older professor, Dr. Jonah West. She begins an affair with him and realizes she must come clean to her boyfriend. After she tells the boyfriend, they have a huge fight and she leaves to find Jonah who she thinks can comfort her. Along the path, she’s attacked by a stranger and her life is never the same again. Amalia makes a few choices which will later have disastrous consequences.
    • 2018 – Amalia, going by Molly and living in NYC, sends her daughter, Brianna, away to college. Just like her mother, Brianna begins dating one of her professors, probably looking for a father figure, as she’s never met her real father. Brianna has always accepted her mother’s story that her father was a military man with whom Molly had a one-night stand and later found herself pregnant with no way to find him. When Brianna uncovers her mother’s old journal, she learns the shocking secret that her mother never knew who the father was because it could have been more than one man. As Brianna searches for clues to find her father, she stumbles upon a few facts which could completely change the future. But when the stranger who attacked her mother re-surfaces, not even Molly knows if she can protect her daughter anymore.

 

About Me
I am a writer. I am currently searching for an agent and looking at independent publishing options for my first book, Watching a Glass Shatter. To see more, please check out the website for this novel where you will find the first 3 chapters, character bios and sample quotes.

I am writing my second novel, Father Figure, with plans to finish it in December, 2017. As part of the process to engage with my fans and followers, I am publishing a weekly status on the progress of this second book. For a description of this book, check out the post where my friends and followers voted for this book as my second novel.

Beyond these two books, I have a number of short stories, poems and other novels in various shapes and forms. I also read A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, Tags, Awards, Age/Genre/Book Reads and Author Spotlights, as well as the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge.

You can also access my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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36 thoughts on “My Novel: Father Figure (Week 6 – Friday, August 11th, 2017)

    wakinguponthewrongsideof50 said:
    August 11, 2017 at 6:11 PM

    Great work as always!

    Liked by 1 person

    BrizzleLass said:
    August 11, 2017 at 6:23 PM

    Yay!! Woo! You’ve worked like a demon this week, I’ve not even needed to pester you! Next week’s goals noted! I really should be setting goals shouldn’t I?! 😆

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      August 11, 2017 at 7:58 PM

      yes, and if I don’t have them ‘on my desk’ Monday AM, you’re in trouble!

      Like

        BrizzleLass said:
        August 12, 2017 at 4:10 AM

        Done! I will work on them first thing Monday! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    Noriko said:
    August 11, 2017 at 6:30 PM

    Thorough work always!! You never fails to impress me 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      August 11, 2017 at 7:58 PM

      Thank you! It was a busy week with Glass edits, too. You didn’t sleep much last night!

      Liked by 1 person

        Noriko said:
        August 11, 2017 at 8:08 PM

        No, I didn’t lol I thought I had to finish Fangirl like ASAP so I ended up sleeping only 4 hours???

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        August 11, 2017 at 8:11 PM

        that’s not enough 😦

        Liked by 1 person

        Noriko said:
        August 11, 2017 at 8:13 PM

        Haha, I agree! But I could always take a nap UNLESS the Glass thing allows me 😛

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        August 11, 2017 at 8:16 PM

        Haha! Glass likes its readers to be well rested.

        Like

        Noriko said:
        August 11, 2017 at 8:17 PM

        Too late. That won’t happen, I guess lol

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        August 11, 2017 at 8:17 PM

        Olivia might try to come after you. Be careful!

        Liked by 1 person

        Noriko said:
        August 11, 2017 at 8:20 PM

        … What?!? lol

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        August 11, 2017 at 8:22 PM

        just kidding!

        Liked by 1 person

    mistysbookspace said:
    August 11, 2017 at 8:23 PM

    Great work so far!! You are really moving right along.

    Liked by 1 person

    Roda said:
    August 11, 2017 at 9:56 PM

    Awesome progress!! 🤗💚

    Liked by 1 person

    Darque Dreamer Reads said:
    August 11, 2017 at 11:29 PM

    Sounds like you are making great progress! I’m cheering you on! The book premise sounds interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

    Cal's Constant Raving Reviews said:
    August 12, 2017 at 3:37 AM

    ahahah “Research
    Let’s not discuss.” brilliant

    Liked by 2 people

    Mischenko said:
    August 12, 2017 at 5:38 AM

    Excellent work, James. Extremely impressive! ♡

    Liked by 2 people

    coffeelovingbookoholic said:
    August 12, 2017 at 7:15 AM

    amazing work progress jay! well done! i love these updates 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    writerkaren2017 said:
    August 12, 2017 at 8:55 AM

    Admire your determination. I find it hard to reach any of my writing goals.

    Liked by 1 person

    mainepaperpusher said:
    August 12, 2017 at 2:34 PM

    I am in awe of the work that goes into writing a novel. I guess that means I am in awe of you, but I don’t want it to go to your head. Hmmm…. How should I convey my feeling of aweness in a rather understated way? Ok, I’ve got it! Atta boy!! *silent chuckle* Ear snuggles to Ryder! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    thegracetyle said:
    August 12, 2017 at 5:35 PM

    The passion that you have for your writing is really admirable 🙂 I’m not a writer of novels but I sure am a big reader who carries a different book with me every week and even as a reader, I can agree with you on how you literally “live and breathe” with the characters every day. For instance, when a character in the novel that I read was struggling from an addiction problem, I struggled with her and when another character found love after years and years of hopelessness and depression, I was happy with her. I think that’s what’s so fascinating about reading! There are only words in front of you and yet, you can somehow become part of the lives of those characters! And props to writers like you who allow readers like me to experience such moments.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      August 13, 2017 at 8:06 AM

      I appreciate your feedback so much. Very generous of you. It’s amazing how you connect with your characters. Hopefully you don’t get too sad when something awful happens. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

    janieleeds said:
    August 14, 2017 at 6:50 AM

    Jay, I’m in! Can’t wait to read your book! Need an editor? I’m a good proofreader! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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