Harder than I thought

I had no idea how hard it would be to write a novel until I started this one. I’ve written a lot of non-fiction books in my life, and once I did the research, the writing was easy. I’m not finding it that easy to write something that I make up.

The novel is about a psychopath who runs as a Republican against Barack Obama’s bid for a second term. My psychopath, whom I have dubbed Jason Wilder, wins. What happens after that is still a secret, but I promise that he will be stopped before he has a chance to wreck the country.

I had to invent a biography for Mr. Wilder. He had to have some political experience, so I had him run for president after serving two terms as governor of Arizona and to be a car salesman before that. In order to make the character’s biography believable, I had to develop a timeline of historical events. To name one example, 9/11 happened during my character’s adult life. How did that affect his business and his life? I couldn’t just ignore it. In other words, I learned that even writing fiction can involve a lot of research. Perhaps writing science fiction would be easier, because by placing the novel in the future, the author gets to make up everything.

I have one more chapter yet to write, but it will probably be several months before the book is published. I have learned from hard experience that once a rough draft is finished, there is a lot of proof-reading and revision to go through before a book is ready for market.

When I was writing for a Pierson, I had an editor and a proofreader looking over my work as it was written and suggesting improvements. In these days of self-publishing, I have to be my own editor and proofreader. I don’t have the deep pockets that my former publishing house had to pay others to do those jobs.

I’m anxious to get this done before summer, because I hope to spend the summer in Portugal and Spain and do the pilgrimage from Lisbon to Santiago de Compostela. If those plans work out, I’ll probably do a book about it similar to the one about the Camino francés that I am advertising in the left sidebar of this blog.

Well, time for me to get back to writing fiction.