In my Oct. 5 blog, I introduce a western novel, Wolf, that I am writing. It is written, respectfully, as a tribute to Louis L’Amour. This novel is also quite a detour from my usual writing process.
Normally, I write something and send it unproofread and, in many cases, even unread to my terrific support team. They do the editing, make sure I have written in my own voice and then, handle submissions. It is a process that has always worked well for me.
The difference this time is that I’m writing fiction for the first time. I am about 12,000 words into what I project will be a 50,000- to 60,000-word novel and have already reread it a number of times. Changes in the plot, major or minor, require me to go back and ensure there is continuity to the story. Characters are increasing — and decreasing — in importance, so I need to make revisions so that their initial introductions reflect their new roles. I find that I am very much enjoying the process, which, candidly, is a surprise.
One of the big changes, maybe the biggest, is that the title of the book has changed from “Wolf” to “Coyote Courage.” Coyote Courage is a term I use as part of a long passage, that explains the behavior of bullies and, as a soon as I wrote it, I knew it should be the title. I love that this happened organically — when I started writing the passage, that term was not in my head, but when I finished, it was on paper and it is now the title.
My most recent reading was the first one where I didn’t feel I needed to make any changes, so now it’s on to Chapter 6. While I now know that there will be additional changes, I have embraced the process and feel strongly that the book will be even better as a result. I am excited to see what other surprises “Coyote Courage” holds for me, and I hope it holds many for you!