Work in Progress

WIP on a ferry.

“It’s a Work in Progress,” a person says, but what do they mean?

For the handyman, it might be the new light fitting, which is presently hanging, disconnected from a wall.

For the gardener, it might be the new vegetable patch which is presently an oblong of overturned earth in a corner.

It is many things to different people, but none, in my opinion can utilise that phrase quite like an author. Of course, I’m biased—I’m an author, so the manipulation of words and the reader’s thought process are my craft. Let’s look at my ‘Work in Progress’.

Codename: Foxglove. This is presently in excess of 60k words and going well. It is a crime thriller which will see the conclusion of the Beyond The Law trilogy and spinoffs.

Crusader. Another crime thriller, introducing a new protagonist who starts the story as a police detective. The first chapter is written and the second is a group of passages which are not yet joined.

Constance. This is where artistic licence comes in. Unusually, this will be a sequel to a story not yet written. It is to be the follow-up to Crusader. In this case I have passages ready to create the first chapter.

Selena: Sea Nymph. My first attempt at sci-if/paranormal/fantasy, and therefore, I’m pleased that the first chapter is presently in three passages. They’re not yet set in the best sequence and that can prove challenging.

Enough? Not by a long way. I may have ceased producing erotica under my own name, but using my pen-name, Katya Cumming, there are six titles in the wings. A novel, an anthology and four novellas.

Why have so much on the go?

Two words—stress reduction.

When an idea comes to mind, I’m sure many authors continue with their latest story, (the primary Work in Progress), but at the back of their mind they might have the occasional distracting thought about another idea.

It was when this first happened to me several years ago that I sat with a coffee staring at my machine contemplating how to conquer the irritation. “Start them as they come to mind,” I told myself aloud. I never have ‘writer’s block’, and knowing that I have a wide range of projects ready to be addressed isn’t frustrating—I relax in the knowledge that I can go from one ‘world’ to the next on a day to day basis if I wish.

And now, dear reader, you know why I believe that authors can stretch that phrase better than most … after all, whatever the project, it is still a Work in Progress.

Thank you for taking the time to check out my thought. Comments are welcome.

Tom

16 thoughts on “Work in Progress

  1. Keep the articles coming, Tom.

    One day, I shall succeed in copying you. I shall destress… conquer writer’s block…

    How do I know? Because I have wedged one toe in the door. Shattered Lives is still having its final polish, and what did I do while I waited for beta readers to report back?

    I wrote two chapters of the next DCI Gerald Croft Thriller. It has a title, Deadly Envy, and ideas for twists pop into my head…

    Am I making notes? Err… no. I lose notes. Or if i don’t, my laptop does; his name is Bumble,

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for commenting, Sarah. When we wake from a dream we rarely recall the details. I keep a notepad handy and even if I’m writing an action scene, I’ll stop to note something if it’s for another story … we rarely remember a passing thought … just like those waking dreams.
      I’ll get to SL at some point and good luck with the follow-up. Take your time and enjoy the whole process. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your article made me re-think the way I work.

    Now that my third novel is published, I have been debating what to do next. I started a sequel to the first one a couple of years ago which I thought I would focus on now. I also have quite a few short stories I was going to put together in a collection at some point, and I have an idea for a brand new book.

    I have been driving myself nuts trying to make a decision, but after reading your article, I feel the weight has lifted. Why can’t I work on all of them? Write more stories to add to the collection. Finish the sequel. Start the new one.

    So thank you, Tom. You made my day.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Cathy, and your comment has made my day. It might feel a bit daunting at first, and if it does, set aside a day for each one. I tend to write it in my diary. For example, this week I’m leaving a morning free for Selena: Sea Nymph, and a morning free for Crusader. ‘Katya’ has Friday booked to work on her new anthology. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m delighted that you’re giving it a try, Cathy, and I’m sure that once you get your head around the idea, you’ll sense that you’re making progress. No more niggling worries about what, when and why. If necessary, you can flit from one project to another. 🙂 Keep me updated on how things are going.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Another great post from you, Tom, and I do like the way your website is shaping up. I enjoy these insights into Tom the Writer’s inner world. I like the T-shirt, too. And the smile. Very seasonal. 😎 ‘Work in progress’ tends to be linear and a tad tunnel visioned for me, in that once I embark on a book I go deep… and some would say dark… I never have the so- called writer’s block, but I do go into what a friend many years ago described as the‘creative slough of despond’ in between books. I don’t keep a notebook in between one project and the next, but I do spend many hours while gardening or walking in the ‘mulling’ pre-project phase. I’m in one of those now, so watch this space…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for the kind comments, Lesley. With regard to your personal affliction; the ‘creative slough of despond’, it might sound unpleasant and negative, but it produces amazing results. Long may you fall into them. 🙂 I look forward to whatever you produce next.

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