August 6, 2021 - New Words!

Friday, August 06, 2021

I spent a good part of yesterday setting up the scenes to “Return to Rainbow Ranch” in Scrivener. I wrote a brief synopsis, with the hope I was addressing all the plot points in advance.


It must have worked, because today was a good writing day! I wrote almost 1500 new words on the short story, and as I’d hoped, the words flowed easily because I didn’t have to keep stopping to figure out what happens next.


This is the method I’m really hoping to use with the novels in this series. It was how I wrote the first three books in the African Violet Club Mysteries and was able to “rapid release” them.


I also set up the schedule for writing the first book in the Rainbow Ranch Mysteries. As part of the 3-Day Planning a Series Challenge that just finished, the instructor asked us for the date we would start writing the first draft of the first novel, the date we would finish the first draft, and the date we would publish that book. That leaves a whole bunch of missing steps between finishing the first draft and publication. Rather than get to the end of the writing and needing to figure it out, I did the math today. It’s somehow calming to know what I’ll be doing for the next three months. Having a plan makes it all seem doable.


Now all I have to do is not add a whole bunch of other things in between the book steps. Too often, I do that. My life seems so organized, I think I’ve got plenty of time to join a class or a group read or something, forgetting how much time that takes away from the primary task at hand.


I have one other problem I need to sort out rather quickly: how am I going to name these books?


The African Violet Club books were named after colors out of necessity. I wanted to do the covers myself (at least at first), and the only way I saw that as possible was to create a template cover and change one thing about it for each book. The easiest thing to change was the color. I also searched for what words were used most often in the titles of successful mysteries. Murder seemed to be the top choice. So I had a color and the word Murder. Once that was decided, I just needed an appropriate adjective to describe the color, and hopefully the plot, for each book.


The Shipwreck Point Mysteries were even easier. As they are partly an homage to Perry Mason, it made sense to title them in the same way Erle Stanley Gardner did. Which was always “The Case of” followed by (usually) an adjective and a noun beginning with the same letter. This isn’t hard at all. There are even lists online for nouns beginning with… and adjectives beginning with… . If you’re really stuck, you can go through those and pick two that go together.


But nothing like either of those methods presents itself to my brain regarding the Rainbow Ranch books. I’m just hoping lightning will strike before I finish the first draft of the first book,

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