A Little News

Last night I finished the first draft of my next western historical. Now, before anyone gets all excited, sure, that’s better than not finished, or not writing it, but it’s a long way from a book that’s ready to put out. I still have research to do, and of course revising, before it’s even ready for first readers, much less anything else. Still, it is progress.

Also remember this isn’t the next planned book; it’s the one from the idea that floated through my mind, became a minor obsession, and off I went. My hope is to never do this again as this is a messier and much less cohesive first draft than I’ve ever produced before and is going to take more work to smooth out. But it’s done, which at least takes care of the obsessive need to write it and lets me get back to the Plan.

I would have sworn that no one would ever get me to use any program but Word Perfect for writing right up till the moment they could tear it from my cold, dead hands (getting out of this world without ever having to learn to use Word except minimally is one of my major life goals), but I confess to having discovered a marvelous program designed specifically for writers called Scrivener. The talk about it on Kindle Boards made me so curious I couldn’t stand it, so I downloaded the trial version, set it up for this book, and gave it a try. I also have what’s done so far on the new mystery in the program now.

My first love is safe because once I get to a certain stage with the books, I’ll export to WP and finish there, but I am finding that the way Scrivener works either helps me keep trucking through that first draft (which is the hardest part for me), or I have new toy syndrome, and it will off wear off soon. I’ve also joined a thread on Kindle Boards where authors report in each day on how many words they’ve written. It’s like the diet programs where you have to weigh in regularly. Who want to be the one who goes in and hasn’t lost? Who wants to be the one reporting nothing written?




24 Responses to A Little News

  1. mesadallas says:

    That’s great news, Ellen… and I’m still going to get excited.

  2. mesadallas says:

    Any chance it’s Beau’s story? (fingers crossed in hope)

  3. Barbara Wadman says:

    Ellen, This reader is eagerly waiting for your next book, however, I do want you to take your time as I have loved all your books and would not have you hurry to get out a story with less than your usual terrific tales.

  4. McD says:

    Yeah, like we’re not going to get excited, Ellen. This is wonderful news! Any hints as to the story??

  5. Sorry – mesadallas, not Beau, but he’s blond. Do I remember that you prefer blonds?

    McD – I’ve got a preliminary working blurb on my other PC. I’ll see if I can get it over here tomorrow and see what you all think.

    Barbara – Thanks and welcome. The stories are always ones that resonate with me, but I never know if they will with anyone else until I get them out. I was sure Katherine in Dancing on Coals would put some people off – after all she killed people and helped Gaetan kill more, and not at a tidy distance either. I haven’t seen one person say they thought she was too much. So I get surprised. ~Ellen

  6. mesadallas says:

    No, I’ve never really gone for blondes I like dark hair but I’m sure hair color isn’t going to matter a whit once I start reading. (smile)

  7. mesadallas says:

    Hi, Barbara, I’ve been a fan of Ellen’s since Eyes and one thing that makes her books such good reads is that she isn’t on a publisher’s timeline. How well I know that good things come to those who wait.

  8. mesadallas – Here I always thought your thing for Beau had to do with him being blond (and a little older). Wrong again.

    Here’s the draft blurb I promised. Remember it’s for a first draft a long way from finished, but even so any critique is welcome.

    In 1866 on the empty Kansas prairie, two children shared a few desperate moments that changed their lives. For years afterward, each nursed a secret dream – that the other had grown into a special person – brave, good, kind.

    When Norah Hawkins and Caleb Sutton cross paths again, dreams die. She is a bitter, suicidal widow. He is a gunman with little conscience and few scruples. Alternately angry, repelled, and attracted, the two form an uneasy partnership to hold land she owns and he covets against a marauding neighbor. Their bargain never included love, or did it?

  9. McD says:

    Great blurb teaser, Ellen. If anyone can turn this guy who sounds like an anti-hero into a hero, you can.
    No pressure.

  10. Well, he’s better than the Stormfire guy. 🙂 ~E

  11. mesadallas says:

    It sounds wonderful and I echo McD.

    Naw, my thing with Beau dosn’t have anything to do with blonde hair.

    You created an intreging secondary character who has come alive enough to want to know his complexities on a much further level. . He has a story to tell and I’d like to hear it- I’ll bet it’s a good one.

    How old was he again? I forget, but if he was over 30 I’ll admit that that plays into it a little bit as I’m always drawn to heros in that age range.

  12. Matt Slade was 30 at the end Sing My Name, so Beau was already early 30’s. My guess is he’ll be about 35 by the time he gets his own story. ~Ellen

  13. mesadallas says:

    I love heros at 35! (but I hope that doesn’t mean it’s going to take three years for it to get written.)

  14. mirja says:

    Hi, I can’t wait to read this new book! I’m always checking your website to see what news you have.
    Thanks for Amazon, otherwise i would never have read your wonderful books.:)
    Greetings from Hungary!

  15. Hi Mirja – Greetings to you too! Thanks for stopping by and commenting, and I’m glad you liked the books. Needless to say, I’m pretty fond of Amazon myself. 🙂 ~Ellen

  16. Kelly says:

    I’d read anything you wrote!!! Can’t wait for this!

  17. Welcome, and thanks, Kelly. I hope you continue to feel that way. ~Ellen

  18. Morgan says:

    Looking forward to read your new book and any future book of yours actually 🙂 The quick little blurb into this next book sounds fantastic! I am patiently waiting – sort of :)!! Congratulations on all of your success as well!

  19. Welcome, Morgan, and thanks. I’m going on the new one every day, but it still needs a lot of editing, etc. ~Ellen

  20. MerviR says:

    Back from the summer vacation… Thanks for this glimpse to the next book. The story sounds great. Now I’m really curious about what happened to them when they were kids.


  21. Hi Mervi – Hope your vacation was a good one, and of course I hope you do like the next book when it’s out. As soon as I’m sure there won’t be more revisions, I’ll post some kind of excerpt here. ~Ellen

  22. MerviR says:

    Can’t wait for the excerpt. Summer was quite rainy here in Finland so I read a lot. I re-read Dancing on Coals also and enjoyed it as much as before.


  23. Tracy McFerrin says:

    So excited to hear another western is in the works. I can’t wait! My fave is Eyes of Silver Eyes of Gold. I have read it several times and even named my youngest son (9 months) Cord. Love, love, love your writing. I will wait patiently for the new western and in the mean time will read Eyes a couple more times.

  24. Oh, Tracy, you may qualify as the most enthusiast fan ever. I hope when your son is old enough he appreciates that I named Cord Cord instead of some Nineteenth Century name such as Chauncy. ~Ellen

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