First up, by far the biggest piece of news (from my point of view, at any rate) is that the first draft of Women Who Kill (the next Anna Scavolini novel) is DONE! In last month’s newsletter, I mentioned that I was hoping National Novel-Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) would provide me with the necessary kick up the backside to get it over the line. I’m pleased to say that my hopes were not misplaced and I ended up writing the words “THE END” on the 21st of November, having added 46,899 words to the running total since the start of the month.
Of course, this is only the first draft, and, in my own personal experience, that infamous quotation attributed to Ernest Hemingway is, more often than not, right on the money. In its current form, Women Who Kill is long, messy, unfocused and structurally a bit wobbly, but it’s a start, and a solid foundation upon which to build when I get stuck into the second draft. Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be re-reading the manuscript from start to finish and putting together a plan of action, with the goal being to get properly stuck into redrafting in January.
In the meantime, I’ve long been of the view that, wherever possible, it’s wise to have a bit of a palate cleanser between drafts, and so, for the last week or so, I’ve been beavering away at an outline for what, all being well, will be my next project once Women Who Kill is done and dusted. I’ve actually mentioned this one before – in fact, I came up with the idea for it a good couple of years ago – but redrafting Bury Your Secrets and getting started on Women Who Kill ended up delaying it quite significantly. The outline is now complete and, while it’s a very broad one with lots of notes along the lines of “this bit doesn’t make sense” and “should this part actually come later?”, it feels good to have got the bones of the story down on paper before I put it to one side again for what, in all likelihood, will be several months.