Camp NaNoWriMo: Week Four

We’re in the final stretch! April was a fast month.

Camp NaNoWriMo: Week Four | Creative Writing | Writing | Cozy Mystery | Mystery | RachelPoli.com

I say this about every time I rewrite George Florence and the Perfect Alibi, but I have to say it again – this draft is coming out so much better than previous drafts!

While I’ve gotten into writing slumps, I’ve never lost passion for this novel. I’ve had novel ideas and have been excited about them before. I write them, edit them once or twice, and forget about them. Sometimes, I don’t even get to the editing stage or don’t even complete the first draft.

George Florence is different though. He came to be in January 2011 (if I remember correctly), so it’s been nine years. I’ve written and rewritten countless drafts and, as I said, even though I get into writing slumps here and there, I’ve never lost my passion for this novel, for this series. I love these characters and I can’t wait to publish them someday. (Someday, hopefully, soon.)

With that said, I think I’ve made more progress in this draft than I ever have before. I won’t go into too many details (it’s confusing and… well, spoilers) but my characters did me a favor.

I know, usually, they run amok and argue with me every step of the way. This time was different though.

A lot of ideas I had for this book (for the series as a whole) have continued to exist in this draft but they make a lot more sense. The major plot point, however, hasn’t changed. Yet, I always had a hard time connecting the dots.

Well, guess what? This past week, I wrote a chapter. My characters had a heart-to-heart (totally unexpected, I was just trying to get some words down) and – lo and behold – their heart-to-heart lead to a major breakthrough in the case. That breakthrough was the one piece I needed to complete the puzzle of this mystery.

They did it and it actually makes sense.

Needless to say, the novel is going pretty smoothly. I reached 50,000 words on the novel on April 23rd, so I reached my goal for NaNoWriMo. I’m still writing 2,000 words a day, but I did skip one day. I’m still taking that as a win.

Daily Word Count

Day 21: 2,200
Day 22: 2,820
Day 23: 2,058
Day 24: 2,036
Day 25: 0
Day 26: 2,232
Day 27: 2,231

I’ll reach 60,000 words today. Let’s see how far I can go with this draft before the month ends. I hope this month has been a productive writing month for you as well.

Are you participating in Camp? If so or if not, what are you currently working on and how’s it going? Let me know in the comments below and let’s chat. If you enjoyed this post, please share it. 

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Camp NaNoWriMo: Week Three

We’re already nearing the end of this Camp NaNoWriMo session and the month, believe it or not.

Camp NaNoWriMo: Week Three | Creative Writing | Writing | Mystery | Cozy Mystery | RachelPoli.com

This was another good week for writing. In some ways, I don’t know where this manuscript is going. At the same time, George Florence and the Perfect Alibi is the best it’s ever been.

I’ve noticed a lot of differences between this draft and previous ones, that I decided to talk about in a separate blog post in the future. For now, here’s my word count for the week.

Daily word count

Day 14: 2,018
Day 15: 2,163
Day 16: 2,042
Day 17: 2,069
Day 18: 2,027
Day 19: 2,028
Day 20: 2,514

Are you participating in Camp? If so or if not, what are you currently working on and how’s it going? Let me know in the comments below and let’s chat. If you enjoyed this post, please share it. 

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Camp NaNoWriMo: Week One

Another session of NaNoWriMo is upon us. It feels like just yesterday was November and yet, at the same time, it feels so long ago.

Camp NaNoWriMo: Week One | Creative Writing | Writing | Writing Update | Mystery | Cozy Mystery | Novel Writing | RachelPoli.com

No prepping for me

I normally spend the entire month of March planning and outlining what I’m going to write for Camp NaNo in April. I didn’t do that this time though. One reason being that March through the entire world into a tizzy and things have been weird. Writing wasn’t exactly on my mind, but I thought about it once in a while. Such as, “I should really figure out how to tackle Camp next month.” But that’s all it was – a thought.

It wasn’t until the very end of March (meaning March 30th and 31st) that I really starting thinking about Camp NaNoWriMo. I knew what I wanted to write, but I wasn’t entirely sure how to go about it.

Preparing to write draft number… I’ve lost count

I guess I should say rewrite instead of write. I’ve been working on book one of my cozy mystery series, George Florence and the Perfect Alibi, since 2011. I’ve written and rewritten it so many times, I’ve lost count. Each draft is drastically different from the previous and I think I’ve finally gotten it this time. (Although, I think I might have said that about the last draft.)

I lost count, but I’m pretty sure this is the seventh or eighth “first” draft. So, I guess you can say I’m on draft 1.7 of the book. Sure, let’s go with that.

When it comes to writing a mystery novel you need to have the case solved yourself first and I think I’m going through the motions of investigating with each draft I write. Every time I write I get that “ah-ha” moment of figuring something else further in the case or I connect a character to another or something similar. Which, is a good thing.

With that said, I decided to rewrite the first draft for Camp this month. (I’m hoping this is the final “first” draft.)

During Camp NaNoWriMo

I have the series as a whole outlined for the most part. I’m sure things will change with each book I write and there are still a few things I need to figure out. I also need a solid outline for book one since it’s changed so many times.

With that said, my goals for the month are to complete the first draft, have an outline of the first draft (I’m working on this as I write), and have a clearer outline for the series. We’ll see how it goes. So far, it seems to be going okay.

Daily word count

April 1: 2,509
April 2: 2,340
April 3: 2,241
April 4: 2,055
April 5: 2,180
April 6: 2,049

Overall, I’m keeping my steady pace of writing at least 2,000 words a day, which is about a chapter for me.

It feels good to get back into the swing of writing. I hope it continues beyond Camp.

Are you participating in Camp? If so or if not, what are you currently working on and how’s it going? Let me know in the comments below and let’s chat. If you enjoyed this post, please share it. 

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Meet David Ahern, Author [Interview]

David Ahern, Author | Interview | RachelPoli.com

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m an Irish writer who grew up in a theatrical family. I used to make serious TV and wanted to do some fun stories for a change.  The Madam Tulip books make me smile.  I hope they do the same for readers.

How long have you been writing for?

All my life, in one genre or another.  Mostly TV scripts, but plays too. The good thing about novels though is that you can just go ahead and write; you don’t need a whole crew of people to make them happen.

What motivates you to write? How did you begin writing?

In my twenties, I directed and co-wrote a solo play with and for my mother who is a wonderful actress. Believe me, if your Ma is waiting, you finish the thing. That’s one kind of motivation. In general though, if stuff runs around in your head and you want to stay sane, you’d better do something with it.

Do you have a writing routine? If so, what’s a typical day like for you?

It all depends on what other projects I’m involved with, but I try to write straight after checking the mails. It can’t always work out that way though.

What was the first thing you did when you found out your book was being published?

Started thinking about the next one. I guess if you’re in any creative job you really only care about where you’re going, not where you’ve been.

What was the publishing process like? How long did it take?

I’m lucky in that I have a TV production company with a small publishing arm. I’m sort of the boss and not the boss at the same time. They’re testing the water with Madam Tulip, and so far they’re happy.  I’m a big fan of the freedom and independence the smaller publishers can give their authors. Writers looking for a deal with the big houses can forget that what they need is the right contract for them as a writer, and that’s not easy to get.

Are you currently working on anything new?

Madam Tulip #4

If you weren’t a writer, what would your career be?

I think my fantasy career would be as an archaeologist specialising in somewhere with a mild and pleasant climate, no biting insects, never previously explored and so a dead cert for academic fame (and tenure, of course). 

What’s one thing you learned through writing that you wish you knew before you started?

You don’t get holidays; your book won’t let you.

What is your favorite book, genre, or author?

Patrick O’Brien (a wonderful historical novelist and one of the finest storytellers ever), EF Benson (Mapp and Lucia) and Dorothy Sayers (of course). For comedy, Wodehouse, Thurber and Flann O’Brien (hilarious Irish genius). In the canon, Jane Austin is right up there for me.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Same advice everyone gives; keep writing, quitting never works.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Just a big thank you for having me.

About David Ahern

David Ahern grew up in a theatrical family in Ireland but ran away to Scotland to become a research psychologist and sensible person. He earned his doctorate but soon absconded to work in television. He became a writer, director and producer, creating international documentary series and winning numerous awards, none of which got him free into nightclubs.

Madam Tulip wasn’t David Ahern’s first novel, but writing it was the most fun he’s ever had with a computer. He is now writing the fourth Madam Tulip adventure and enjoys pretending this is actual work.

David Ahern lives in the beautiful West of Ireland with his wife, two cats and a vegetable garden of which he is inordinately proud.

You can learn more about David Ahern and Madam Tulip on his Website. Connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.

About His Latest Book

Bones of Chance by David Ahern | Interview | RachelPoli.comSuspense, mystery, action, a little romance and lots of laughs

A surprise role in a movie takes actress Derry O’Donnell to a romantic castle in the Scottish Highlands. But romance soon turns to fear and suspicion. Someone means to kill, and Derry, moonlighting as celebrity fortune-teller Madam Tulip, is snared in a net of greed, conspiracy and betrayal.

A millionaire banker, a film producer with a mysterious past, a gun-loving wife, a PA with her eyes on Hollywood, a handsome and charming estate manager—each has a secret to share and a request for Madam Tulip.
As Derry and her friend Bruce race to prevent a murder, she learns to her dismay that the one future Tulip can’t predict is her own.

Madame Tulip is the third in a series of thrilling and hilarious Tulip adventures in which Derry O’Donnell, celebrity fortune-teller and reluctant amateur detective, plays the most exciting and perilous roles of her acting life, drinks borage tea, and fails to understand her parents.

Buy the Book

Amazon | Goodreads