Book Update on No Clues, You Lose: July 2020

We’re all excited about getting to read the final version, so here’s your update on the progress in the old “5 Ws” format.

Who is Currently Working on No Clues You Lose?

Just me! Last month my awesome writing coach (and fellow Eastern-North-Carolinian-by-birth), John Claude Bemis, put the entire book back in my court. Previously we’d been working simultaneously on a chapter-by-chapter critique. I would edit and send him a chapter or three, he would review them, and I would simultaneously work on the next little bit. Now he’s seen the entire book, and it’s on me to make changes before sending the whole thing back to him again.

What is Being Done?

A lot of crying.

Just kidding.

I’m not crying. But I am working on major changes throughout the entire book. First, I am making sure my external and internal goals and obstacles are a more intentional part of the story. In every scene. Also, the positive and negative outcomes need to be more compelling. And I’m re-outlining the chapters.

This isn’t a quick fix. I’ll really have to go over it at least twice. The first sweep will be to tighten up the story by better outlining the Problem-Process-Solution that needs to occur every few chapters and making individual chapters shorter and more punchy. 

The second sweep will be to refine the dialogue. Here I will add character quirks and make sure my characters are distinct and easily identifiable by creating anchor traits.

When Will You Be Finished?

Every time I say I’m going to be done next month, my nose grows. So I’m going to stop saying that. It’s not reasonable, anyway. This is a big undertaking. I would love to be able to focus on it and finish it up in a couple of months, but it seems like the more work I do, the more work there is to do. 

So let’s just say soon-ish. Like before Fall.

Where in the Manuscript Are You Working?

At this point in the process, I am all over the place. I have to go back and forth between the big picture and individual chapters. Right now, I am still in the first act of the book. (The book, like a play, has three acts.) I am looking at chapters in groupings of three, so I’m in the second grouping at the moment.

Why Are You Doing This?

I am doing all this work for you. And for my characters.

The story concept has been validated. Now it’s time to make the characters come to life. Joey needs a stronger voice. The action needs to pull you along in a way that makes you not want to put the book down. I want Joey and you to become friends.

How is it Being Accomplished?

Right now I’m writing mostly on weekends. After a few weeks, if I’m not moving forward consistently enough, that plan will have to change.

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