Novella Progress Report #1 – Exploring the characters

Now I’m four days and 2,430 words into my new novella project. Perhaps not as many words as I would have liked, after the initial enthusiasm of the first day. I’ve decided to free-wheel it for a bit, learn about my central character, who is a middle-aged man who leads a rather secretive and seedy lifestyle.

It’s fun developing his character quirks. I have a picture of him in my mind – I know some writers who trawl magazines or the internet and snip out physical images of people who’d be suitable models for their characters. I might yet do that so that he doesn’t morph into someone else as the story progresses.

The female character, who was inspired by my visit to the hardware store on the weekend, is introduced in the opening sentence … and she’s dead. I’m planning to do a slow-release of her story as the investigation into her death progresses.

Here are my word tallies so far:
Day 1 – 1,000 words
Day 2 – 378 words (done at night after a full day at work)
Day 3 – 452 words (work-day)
Day 4 – 450 words (another work-day).

I haven’t done the maths, but if that doesn’t add up to 2,430 it’s because I’ve changed a couple of sentences around after the event.


About Debbie Terranova

Debbie Terranova is an Australian author of contemporary and historical fiction. 'The Scarlet Key' published in 2016 is the second Seth VerBeek mystery. The crime-busting reporter is back with a new cast of unforgettable characters and a new puzzle to solve. It's about live, love, death, and tattoos, with a touch of the mystical. 'Baby Farm', her debut novel, is a cozy crime mystery about forced adoptions of the 1970s, and a surrogacy and baby trafficking racket. It is the first of the Seth VerBeek series. Debbie Terranova is a prizewinning author of short stories: 'Mowbray Brothers' about growing up in East Brisbane in the 1920s; and 'Mischief' about reinventing yourself and in the process falling in love ... with an adorable but mischievous cat.
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