As you know, this blog is a chronicle of the process I am going through to write a novel. It began in July of 2012 just two months after I retired. I took a class on “How To Write A Novel” at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. I am now approaching an inflection point just two months before the second anniversary of my journey.

After I took my class, I completed an 80,000-word draft of the entire concept of the story, which had been bouncing around in my head, in about fifteen months. Rough would be an understatement. As I described the story to anyone who would listen, I got the following feedback from several different people: “Your novel has a lot going on in it.” I then met Alida Winternheimer, my editor/writing coach. She caused a light bulb to go off in my head. She confirmed what I had an inkling about, but could not verbalize. The plot lines of my original rough draft could support a trilogy.

After working with Alida on technique and concepts over the past five months or so, I have the basic outline, or arc, for the first book of the trilogy. The plan is to write another 80,000-word story based on one of the first of three concepts outlined in my initial rough draft.

It is now the moment of truth. My first book will be written upon my return to Minneapolis. The target date for the completion of this draft will be between the end of June and the end of July 31st. The goal is to have the draft polished and ready for publication by the summer of 2015!

A daunting schedule that I intend to achieve. It will involve sitting down in my chair and pounding out my story line four hours a day, six days a week. In addition to writing, I will need to set aside time for research on any additional concepts that may arise, plus necessary revisions. I will also need to begin thinking more about the publishing process. Hopefully, this will all come together so the first book of the Infiltrator Trilogy hits the market next summer.

Next month, the rubber will definitely hit the road, as I move toward accomplishing my dream of writing and publishing a novel. Wish me luck as the first phase of my journey attempts to achieve completion.


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  1. Steve Carples

    Sounds like you’re making great progress with you coach. Good luck with the next draft. Regards — Steve


  2. Myra

    Sounds like a plan. Birth of a grandchild and a book good luck- Myra and Norm


  3. Liz Rose

    Good for you Mark.


  4. Bryan Rubin

    Nice post! Did you send this from Omaha? Or back on Minneapolis?


  5. David Stevens

    Churn n Burn, good work. It is an ambitious plan, but I believe you can/will accomplish your goals. Best – David


  6. Kendel Ohlrogge

    Good for you Mark, your work ethic is impressive — and I do wish you luck. When are you back in Minnesota? I’m looking to meeting you for coffee and a good discussion.


  7. essstillsue

    I wish you good luck and wish to see you soon Best Tom S


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