Progress and a Clever Crime Writer: Tim Baker

I have been working on writing this crime novel steady since May 4th, even though I had the first three chapters, which I rewrote, done back in November. The ideas for this novel have been in my head for about ten years. I trashed all that—the three chapters not part of the current novel—keeping an old file of those first person chapters. The original was in the murder victim’s husband’s POV…which made no sense. But I knew that character and the plan was to have a murder mystery, not a crime novel. I pull little details from that file from time to time.

After I decided on a crime novel (NOT police procedural) and put the novel in the private investigator’s POV along with Brandi’s, the sidekick he doesn’t want to have, she also needed a POV.  I don’t stick exactly to an alternating POV, but their chapters, thus far, have been clearly and specifically their chapters.

They haven’t been together much for the first half of the novel. Now it is coming upon a part where they will need to be. I am hoping their voices are well developed enough by this point not to be too confusing. The narration is third person, so I’m feeling pretty comfortable.

I now stand at 26,439 words, and I am about half way through the story I am telling. My husband is over eager. He has helped me along, when asked for details, but only read the first chapter, so far. He is an avid crime novel /murder mystery reader and loved the last one, but likes this rewrite much better.

My word count comes to about 2644 per day, over ten working days, but I am writing on weekends too, so it’s really not that many in a day. Add five more weekend days and you get more like 1767 words per day. I know some days it is only 300-500, and others are well over 3000, so who is to say what a word count is worth?

I do try to keep chapters to around 1500 words for short ones and around 3000 for a few longer ones. That has more to do with the rhythm of the read and the pace than anything else. So far, I am up to Chapter Thirteen and about in the middle of that. I am guessing less than thirty chapters.

An author my husband, the rocket scientist, has been reading is Tim Baker. His work is similar to Tim Dorsey and Carl Hiaasen. Both authors I love. In many ways, I think Tim Baker’s work shows more cleverness. The rocket scientist reads me chapters out loud from time to time, and I am anxious to read his work myself. I’ll be reading and reviewing later.

One thing he did, and I plan to communicate with him about this, is published a short story written by another author at the end of one of his books. The story was the result of a contest he held. I am supposing he already had a fan base built up, and beta readers, or other bloggers who were interested enough to participate.

The story was knee slapping hilarious and was like a piece of fan fiction relative to his characters, but using a topic he selected.  The topic was “death”. The writer who won the contest and was published in his work made fun of what might have been a plot hole, his use of commas (or improper use), and other such sillies. It involved a dead body left to rot in a character’s house. How much fun is that!?

I don’t know how he would feel if I stole his idea. I would like to mull over the details on how he set that up with him and see if he would mind if I tried something like that in the future. I would need a fan base first. So I am talking way along in the series.  It really shows the camaraderie of self-published authors to promote and exchange ideas like that. I love it. It’s exciting to see that sort of mutual support. The story was great and I can’t wait to download his stuff on my iPad. I’ll never get my husband’s away from him.

Here are some of his titles if you want to check him out. We found that we have to put both his author name and the title into Amazon to pull up some of his older works. There are a few authors by that name so make certain you have the correct Tim Baker. I really don’t know if he’s still writing. I think his last novel was published in 2011. Of course, he could just be serving time somewhere. Ha!

24 thoughts on “Progress and a Clever Crime Writer: Tim Baker

  1. What a great idea for an author to include another writer’s short story at then end of the book. A generous gesture, to boot.

    Sounds like you’re making good progress. I go less on word count and more on whether I accomplished my goal for the day. Sometimes 500 words of work that requires research to get exact can take much longer to write than 3,000 words that don’t.

    • Exactly. I usually end my day at either a good chapter conclusion, or a need for more research before I can continue.

      I love seeing authors supporting others like that. I thought it was a novel idea 🙂

  2. That’s an interesting idea. I know in a few fantasy series, the author opens the world to contests where new authors are contracted to write short stories. I’m not sure if they submit an idea and wait to get picked or if they’re given the story idea. It ends with a compilation of back stories and future tales of fun.

    • I was going to tamper with the rocket scientist’s iPad while he’s at AutoZone to see if I could find the details about the contest Tim Baker held, but I best not.

      I know the lady who won his contest was also an author and fellow blogger at his blog spot site. He listed her credentials and she had several other pieces published including her own books, short stories, and had won some awards. I don’t know the details about the short story contest. How he judged it, set guidelines, and so on. Pretty cool idea though. I think he said it could be an alternate end chapter or fan fiction of some sort, but It had to include the topic “death”.

      I could think of all sorts of cool things to publish by fans….poems, short stories, alternative endings. I thought this one was neat because she picked over his writing faults and kept referring to him specifically. Too funny.

      • I keep toying with the idea of opening Windemere to other authors down the road. Probably after I finish a few series, but I’d give a thumbs up to ideas that other people have. The rules would be nothing can be world-changing and main characters can’t be killed off. It could be fun to create a world that allows other authors to get a foot in the door.

        • Open to your fans who have read your work, they would know the world and its rules. It would be cool to see if someone could find a humorous way to attack your writing style or errors they felt you have made (without being mean spirited of course).

          Nothing as severe as disrespecting a particular scene or outcome of one of your characters. I wish I knew how to copy and paste this short story into an email, I would send it to you. It was only about 1500 words. Is there a way to do that on the Kindle app, or is that a no no? I know iPad lets you copy, but I have never copied on the Kindle app.

  3. That’s such a clever idea, and a really nice gesture 😀 Plus it’s a fun way for other writers to have fun with your characters.

    Also, sounds like you’re making great progress on your crime novel, can’t wait to read it!

  4. Pingback: Book Review: Eyewitness Blues by Tim Baker and Path of a Bullet by Tim Baker and Friends | S.K. Nicholls

  5. I am just seeing this for the first time some 7 months after you wrote it…I can’t thank you enough for saying such nice things about me and my work. To be compared to Hiassen and Dorsey is like winning the lottery for me!
    By all means – feel free to use the short story idea…and you may also consider me part of your, soon to be much larger, fan base!!!

    • Ha! I didn’t know who you were or if you were even still writing when I wrote this. I don’t suppose you were sitting in jail all that time after all! But you never know, stranger things have happened. My crime novel characters are a rather bumbling/inept private investigator and his transsexual sidekick from the Parliament House in Orlando. It is partially set in a nudist resort not unlike my family’s place. It’s more a serious crime novel, like yours, but not without some comic relief.

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