Writing Experiment: Creation of a Manuscript

I’ve been on a roll the past few days with my blogging, a blessing after months of fighting with my muses and getting sidetracked by everyday bullshit. I’ve decided to try my hand at an experiment. For 6 months my focus has been on a single manuscript which I’ve struggled with for a new publisher. This manuscript is not only a paranormal story, but a crime thriller as well. The strands of the plot braided slowly into a cohesive story. What I want to create is a classic ghost story, nothing in your face, yet rather a slow burn of terror.

To date the manuscript tentatively entitled The Cottage is at a word count of 34,363. It begins with the murder of a family in a small fictional Mississippi town as seen through the eyes of  a African-American girl in the spring of 1962. Then we jump forward 50 years to New York City and the story of Rhys Morgan, a bestselling horror author, who after suffering a devastating lose is unable to move on with his life. On a lark he purchases a cottage in Mississippi that ends up being the scene of the crime committed 50 years before. Accompanied by student Tyler Chauvin, acting as his personal assistant (thanks to his overbearing agent, Barry Arnott) Rhys tries to rediscover his muses while both falling for Tyler and being haunted by spirits from the past and the unsolved murders.

Now, I’ve written ghost stories before. My first novel Shadows Beneath previously published in 2008 with Dark Roast Press (an e-Publisher) was a ghost story. In that case though the story had more of a Gothic feel, a throwback to those dramatic/romantic horror novels I loved from the 50’s and 60’s. Since publishing Shadows I’ve wanted to try another ghost story, something less Gothic and more modern. I have a love of the Deep South as attested to by my novella Le Jardin de la Lumiere. There is something mystical and enchanting about the South, which cries haunted and beautiful all in the same breath.

In an earlier post I described the way I came to the idea for The Cottage (HERE) and it has grown becoming as entangled and sweet as night-blooming jasmine. But I digress…

What I want to try here (and whether it works or not is anyone’s guess) is to record the journey of this manuscript from beginnings to final publication if it happens. Yes, I’ve already began the manuscript, but as of this past Saturday I began editing what I had in hopes of untangling the wild vines and compacting them into something better than it had been. In doing so (inspired by NaNoWriMo and some recent writing educational material) its my hope I will rediscover the true face of my muse.

During this journey there is a part of me that hopes fellow bloggers, writers, hell–human beings will stop in to comment and even perhaps give some helpful advice. I look forward to hearing from everyone out there. I have a tough skin and no desire for people to blow smoke up my ass. What I do have a desire for is straightforward helpful comments and even dare I say–oh, why the hell not–critique.

I’m inviting you folks into my brain (which is a scary fucking place sometimes) and hoping you’ll all decide to stay for a bit.

Experiment entries are to be posted every Sunday beginning November 20, 2011 and continue throughout the process.

Guess I’m a glutton for punishment or simply a stubborn ass writer who will not give up.

Until Later…Blessed Be

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5 comments on “Writing Experiment: Creation of a Manuscript

  1. I’m in total agreement with you about the deep south. I love that area, and love reading books that are located there. I’m really looking forward to reading this ghost story!

    • Isn’t it the best though. 🙂

      I’m nervous to be honest. After leaving my previous publisher for personal reasons (it was a difficult decision) and not having anything published in well over a year I feel as if I’m starting all over. Finding my footing again has been a long, hellish journey and it hasn’t ended yet.

      My new publisher leans toward darker more raw material and I really do need to rediscover that side of my muse. For years I wrote stories non-professionally that were hardcore, dark, and sometimes raised eyebrows. When I was given the chance to be published out of fear of how people would react I toned down my writing which I believe now was a mistake on my part.

      I hope will my entire soul this experiment works and you get the chance to read the completed story.

      Thanks for stopping by and encouraging this lost writer.

      • The best of luck to you, Jesse! I will be rooting for you! I know how it is to feel void and alone in the struggle. I can’t wait to see your name on the cover of a book again! 🙂

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