Anytime I begin writing a new book I struggle with the question of whether or not to write from an outline. The problem with an outline is that it tends to make the writing of the book less exciting. There is a whole field of possibilities for a story without an outline. For one thing you don't know the ending yet. And that makes it exciting.
But without one I don't have direction. So while I am starting to write Full Harvest Moon I am faced once again with that very issue. This time I have decided to start without an outline.
What do you think?
Maybe you noticed that I changed the title of book 3 already from A Full Cold Moon to A Full Harvest Moon. One of the hardest things to do is to come up with a name for a book. There are several ways to do it: 1.) Start with a name from the beginning and then write with the name in mind, or 2) write the book and then draw the name from what you have written. In the first case the name drives the story, in the second the story creates the name. I have used both methods and I'm not sure which one works best. Currently I like the first process.
Before I start to write I picture the storyline in my head and from that brief outline try to find several words that reveal the spirit of the book. Cooper's Moon started out as Miami Blues, then morphed into Hunter's Moon, and then finally into Cooper's Moon.
Blood Moon, started out as Harvest Moon. I finalized the name about halfway through the writing of the book. And so it may be with A Full Harvest Moon. That name may change as well.
Whatever happens, the name of a book is important, just as important as the names our parents have given us. Our name tells us who we are. The name of a book tells us who the book is; it is its identity.
I've decided to call the third book The Full Harvest Moon. I've finished the prologue to the story and managed to scare everyone who has read it so far. This third book in the Cooper Series is about Cooper's search for his son Maxie. It begins with a description of the kidnapping. It's almost too much to imagine isn't it--the terror that must rise a young boy's stomach when he realizes that what is happening to him is bad. It's hard for me to sleep at night if I dwell on it. So I try to think of more pleasant things knowing full well that young children are kidnapped in this country every day.
Well Blood Moon is done (at least until Tris tells me there is more work to do) and I am on to the next part of the Cooper Series: A Full Cold Moon. Cooper's son, Maxie, has been missing for seven years. It's time now. Cooper has determined to find his son, no matter the outcome. A Full Cold Moon is the story of that search. I'll let you know how it turns out.
I just sent off Blood Moon to Tris (my agent) this past Monday. I mailed it around 2:30 a.m. Time to celebrate. I was able to edit the book in a little over a month and a half--it took about 10 months to write. The final version is about 465 pages long.
In the first part of the book, Cooper heads to Southern Ohio to help an old friend, a Catholic priest, who is getting threatening phone calls. That trip leads him and his group of crazy friends into a snake pit of danger--A Russian gang, an Ohio Valley militia, and dealers in body parts. In the meantime the priest disappears and a girl goes missing.
I'll fill you in on more of the plot later. I'll also upload some selections from the book once Tris has had a chance to read it.
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