Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Writer is Always Writing & CONTEST for Signed Walker Title

A few remarks before I get to the Contest to Win a signed copy of DEAD ON (Five Star Books).

I have had one of those weeks that has not allowed me to get back to my manuscript; life in general can keep you so busy as to pull you from your plans, goals, tasks, schedules.  I want to write some pages on the novel I am COOKING currently even if it is a few pages or even one page, but this week I had to grade essay exams along with my normal schedule and this took all my time. This and the usual stuff.  So I am still on page 55 and that's not good; that means no forward progress on PlagueShip Titanic.  That disturbs me and bothers me and makes me mad at myself and my lifestyle.  I managed to do some other things like talk to friends on facebook, sent out a few tweets, wrote three other blogs other than THIS I guested on and wrote for where I am the new guy on the block blog.  And then there is my normal Friday blog at

Howeveer, when a writer misses scheduled time, he makes it up.  This weekend, I intend to do just that.  Meantime let it be known that a writer, even when not writing is writing.  What that means is that you are a writer 24/7.  You are thinking about the story, about where it has been, its opening, its UP to this Point, its characters; in fact, you are thinking as if from the point of view of your main character.  You are thiniking about plot points and even reconsidering that opening. 

I am seriously re-thinking how I organized those first four chapters.  I set it up as opening in the past and starting with the shipyard where Titanic and the creature that slips aboard are first introduced to one another, with the horrible death of the miner who discovers the terror in the deep alongside the iron ore mined for the ship builders....and after the two chapters in the past then I opened the modern day story set in 2012 with Buckland, my main point of view character in the present story.  The good news is that the past story will be shaped around my City for Ransom point of view character, the great and wonderful Inspector Alastair Ransom.  I was delighted to realize that finally I could get Ransom on board the Titanic and that he will be exactly where I always wanted him to end the Ransom series -- aboard the Titanic.  When HarperCollins, my publisher for City for Ransom told me after City of the Absent and Shadows in White City that they would not be continuing the seires, I was crestfallen as I had wanted to take Ransom from 1893 to 1914. Horray....I get my way after all.

And next revelation is more a question than a revelation that this book is perfect for Ransom to be revived; this question is SHOULD I begin at another beginning....should I open with the futuristic opening set in 2012?  In fact, should I move it up even futher to say 2020?  But the bigger question is should the novel open in the future or the past?  Many readers, I believe, would be more likely to be excited by those first pages of the Now story as opposed to the Then story.  I know the novel wants both stories and each story, past and present have to be equally important and given equal time....maybe with more given to the Now Story perhaps but pretty equal amount of time spent in both time zones for this to work.

But the big question and would like your input folks is Do I do better starting with the Future/Now Story or should I leave well enough alone.  I think I will give this a lot of thought.  So is that not part of the writing process?  Thinking, thinking, thinking like researching and reading?  Some authors say this is not writing, but I am not so sure.

Now there is the question of the title.  I have racked my limited resources, my brain, for a title and while I am not entirely happy with PlagueShip Titanic, it is the best I could come up with; however, you may come up with an ALTERNATIVE Title, and if you can come up with one that is the BEST Alternative Title in my estimation then I will sign a copy of DEAD ON and send it to you post haste.  Here are the rules...There are no rules.  Anyone can send in a title idea.  By now you know the premise of the book and if not, check the badck posts on Cooking Up a Novel in a year.  By the end of March, I will make a decision on the best alternative title and announce it here.  I am blogging here once a week, typically each Saturday.  The title just needs to sum up the story perfectly.  I hope you can better me on a title suggestions.

That's it for today's post.  Thanks for coming by and all your support.  Not easy being cursed with the need to write, so I appreciate your being here to cheer me on.  Can I make the rough draft in three months?  Not sure....Can I finish the novel in a year?  Sure...why not!  I got time....

Rob Walker


Peg Brantley said...

Thanks for keeping at this, Rob.

Good to know I'm not alone in the oops-what-happened-to-my-day issue.

And good to know the idea is to keep on going.

Rob Walker said...

I put aside life today, Sat., and just buckled down to make up for missed days during the week. I wrote twenty five pages. Have not done that many pages in one day since I was young, strong, virile...strong like bull. But it feels good to have pushed to book now to page 75. If I can do this once more I can get to that crucial 100. I have a contract with myself that once I reach page 100 then I know I can and will finish the book. Plus I get to work again with Inspector Alastair Ransom! What a surprise, and what a joy but it just makes sense. Needed a detective on the Titanic but damn if he did not wind up in jail at end of writing; that man is always in jail.

Jenni said...

"Ransom on Board" Hope I am posting the title suggestion under the correct post.

Rob Walker said...

Jenni - thanks for the suggestion and it is appropo; I am placing it in the running. So far you have a fifty-fifty chance as there have only so far been two suggestions. The other is pretty cool too -- SEA of CORPSES. Kind of a play on Sea of Corez...kinda. This one did not get posted here but came to me via a chat group.
Thanks for your great suggestion and coming by.

Kari Wainwright said...

Suggestion: A Ship's Ransom

And good luck in getting those pages written this weekend.