(Photo by Manfred Werner)
March 29, 2020
When it comes to an engaging book, narrative flow is everything.
My first book was written in first person, because it was my personal point of view. In fact, three of my first four planned books come from that angle. Not because I’m self-centered (usually), but because of their personal nature.
I can’t do that with Bernie Worrell’s biography.
There is no personal connection with my subject outside of the appreciation of his music. For the first time in a very long while, I have to be a true journalist.
This isn’t a problem. I did it in school, as well as the military. Police reports start in first person, then shift to third. Which is to say I’m more than capable of conducting interviews, sequencing them, and writing about my findings without making myself part of the story.
And so, I gather my information like the reporter I once wanted to be. To be honest, I’m rather enjoying it.
I’m also dealing with something I haven’t had to deal with in a very long time: a deadline.
I promised the Worrell Estate I would have a first draft completed by the end of the year. On the surface, that seems rather ambitious. Truth be told, it is. After all, it took me 26 months to research and write my first book.
Nevertheless, I accepted the challenge, because I have three distinct things going for me:
- I won’t be researching and writing while working as a police officer during a period of massive social upheaval. I started my last book during the early stages of the Ferguson uprisings.
- I’m convinced I could have completed I Can’t Be the Only One Hearing This in half the time working my regular hours. For this book, I will actually be semi-retired. I don’t plan on doing anything job-oriented for four months. That makes for a wide open calendar. Should make it a lot easier to conduct research and write. I can do it full-time. When I’m not on the golf course.
- My book was 450 pages in print. It was an easy read, but the number was what it was. The Wizard of WOO will clock in at around 300-350 pages, give or take. Much easier.
So this is a challenge. But a manageable one.
Speaking of which, I’d better get back to it.
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