Back on July 27 of this year I posted about a handful of W.I.P. (Works In Progress). Some were active endeavors while others were things I had on a back burner for a long time that I wanted to get to.

I created that post so that I could visualize what I wanted to develop and, well, to challenge myself by openly communicating that to anyone who reads this blog. You know, put it out there and you can’t back down. Now, nearly three months later, here’s an update:

  • Fifth draft on book one of new historical crime fiction series. This takes place in post-WW II Wichita with a main character (private investigator) who is Jewish and finds himself caught up between the Laws of God and the Laws of man. Conscientiously avoiding stereotypical tropes of hard-boiled crime fiction while attempting to maintain the mood and tone. So far, as much research as writing.

*(Well, this has been submitted to a publisher who has shown interest. After the first three chapters, there was a request for the complete manuscript.)

  • The outline for book two of aforementioned series. Now that I have a strong feeling for the main character and the substance of the series, why not?

*(I actually started writing this one. A chapter and a half and more of an outline but mostly approaching as a Pantser.)

  • Third draft of one-off historical crime fiction novel. This was an attempt to use Aristotle’s principles of unity to a certain degree. Titled “63 Hours in Wichita”, it is largely an experiment in condensing a taut action crime tale down to basic elements in a reasonable time frame, yet using that time as an impetus to tell the tale.

*(Nothing further yet. Needs more thought to flesh it out and make it more action oriented.)

  • First draft of a pulp fiction novel. Like real old school, 50’s cheese. A paroled ex-con just trying to rebuild his life encounters a wide-ranging cast of characters, including his ex-wife, in a factory that manufactures carnival novelties. Going for dark and seedy.

*(Another two chapters. I have to be a more seedy mood for writing this.)

  • Reworking a transgressive novel I started over 15 years ago. It is the tale of a bored 40-soemthing divorcee who hates his job and encounters a mentor who teaches him how to be a contract killer as a sideline. Naturally, the elements of darkness seep through this, as well as subtle commentary regarding self-help and wellness programs. This one is titled WEEKEND GETAWAYS, OR ADVENTURES IN CONTRACT KILLING.

*(Revised, edited, and submitted to two publishers. Still researching others prone to this genre.)

  • Reworking a metafiction entitled THE NOVEL TITLED “THIS IS NOT A NOVEL” in which a fictional biographer named H.B. Berlow is writing a biography of a fictional author named…H.B. Berlow. It touches upon the essay “The Death of the Author” by Roland Barthes who argues against that form of literary criticism that uses an author’s biography and experiences in order to find the meaning of their work.

*(Still revising and editing. Completed another 50 pages since original post.)

  • Reworking a contemporary crime fiction tentatively titled PROFESSOR THUG. It was outlined as a tribute to a late co-worker who was truly an intellect but looked like, well, a thug. Have gone through at least three different outlines and am still trying to figure out what the story actually is.

*(Nothing further.)

  • Reworking an episodic contemporary crime fiction tentatively titled THE STOOGES revolving around three guys who come together for a heist who have no business doing anything other than working in fast food. They get in very deep. This was a former NaNoWriMo project.

*(Nothing further.)

  • Outlining an alternate history novel. I actually have two tracks this could run. Even though the series has ended, I started watching THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE on Amazon Prime and became fascinated by the concept. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?

*(Nothing further. I fear this might require a great deal of research, even more than I’m used to.)

  • Outlining a two-scene one-act play. A friend who did a session at the 2022 OWFI Writers Conference provided the inspiration as well as the encouragement. My drama days were years ago. Hopefully, I’ve grown as a writer and I can do this again.

*(Completed. Sent to a friend who is an actor and playwright who found it a worthy effort. So, I know I can do this. Now, the question is what to do with it and what further works can I create?)

The tally is 6 active works out of 10. The challenge has been set forth and I continue to meet it.


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