In Saturday’s post, I mentioned having several projects underway. A couple of things:

  • No, I have no plans to finish all of them this year.
  • No, I do not write on all of them regularly.
  • Yes, I do have a 10th, code name: Dakoaska.
  • Yes, I also have an 11th (Bella), a 12th, 13th, 14th, and 15th (GW1, 2, 3 & 4).
  • Yes, I also also have a full proposal package for a paranormal (FC1, 2 & 3) and a full proposal package for a romance series with a historical mystery (SGL1, 2, 3 &4). Additionally, I’ve started new Smithson Group, Dalton Gang, and Hope Springs stories, which brings this total to TWENTY-FIVE. (Now I’m going to stop looking in my Google Drive folder of books I’ll never have time to write in this lifetime because I can make this 30 if I try.)

So on Saturday, I wrote 290 words on PB&J. Actually, I wrote 262, but needed that number to end in zero… And I wrote 375 words on B100, which I only came up with on Friday, for a day’s total of 665. (Oh, look! Another 5!)

This is how the writing has gone most of the year. The day I came up with the idea for R&R, I wrote 1375 words in a white hot rush, but that’s probably the most productive I’ve been on any single project since finishing off the page proofs for RITE OF WRONGS and the final editing pass before submission on ICEFALL in January.

I’ve read several article recently about different authors writing processes. I always find them fascinating because there are so many right ways that work. And I feel as if I’m in good company since I usually only write one draft, I rarely know where I’m going (this year especially), I write on several projects at one time, and I do my best work when I hole up like a hermit and lock out the world (and that includes eschewing social media).

Lee Child writes ONE draft.

Nobody really believes him when he says it. And in the end I guess it is unprovable. But I can put my hand on heart and say, having been there, and watched him at work, that Lee Child is fundamentally clueless when he starts writing. He really is. He has no idea what he is doing or where he is going. And the odd thing is he likes it that way.

Danielle Steel writes on SEVERAL books at the same time.

When I’m writing a book, I start in the morning, and work until I can’t anymore, straight through the night. If I’m just developing an idea, or writing a minor project, then I prefer to work at night when it’s peaceful. I write alone in my office (in whichever house), and don’t want to be disturbed. The process is that I sit in my chair and do it. I normally work an 18 to 20 hour day, whatever I’m doing. When I’m writing I work 20 to 22 hours and sometimes 24. As long as the ideas keep flowing, I write

Ian Rankin requires SOLITUDE.

During the first draft I don’t pause to read what I’ve written, except maybe after the first 100 or so pages. I do that over a few days, making notes about where the book could go next. I never have a clearly defined plan – I almost never know the ending before I’m well into the book. The story has a sense of where it wants to go, and I just follow it.

(BTW, I get most of my blog images at