“A Formula for Murder” took five years to write. After developing the initial storyline for the book, I did a 10,000 word first draft. Initial reviews were very positive.
Once I was confident that “Formula” was a pretty darned good story, I pushed ahead with a first re-write. I shuffled events around in the book, fleshed out characters, and started developing underlying themes that meshed with the overall storyline.
At every turn, I tried to add detail, color, and humor. My 10,000 word first draft grew to about 50,000 words. Literary agents and publishers I had talked to encouraged me to make 80,000 words a goal.
With that in mind, I started a second re-write of the book, again shuffling the storyline, adding plot twists and infusing more background info about the main characters.
This also is when I decided to substantially change the ending of the book and open the door for a sequel to “Formula.” If the book generated enough interest, I could pick up the story where it left off and develop a whole new adventure.
The final result is 83,540 words presented in 254 pages and 36 chapters.