I'm a third of the way through "Gangster Gothic." It's the kind of book that will have to be honed. I will need to clarify the style, make it snappier. But meanwhile, I'm focused on the story.

Yesterday, for the first time, I wrote a chapter that I'm not completely satisfied with. There is nothing particularly wrong with it, but there isn't anything particularly outstanding about it either. It is also a chapter that could almost be paraphrased in a single paragraph; almost but not quite. It has some procedural elements that are needed, but even procedural elements can be presented in an action manner, and this isn't, except for a vague threat.

I'm trying to layer in levels of threat here. What occurs to me is that I can bring in the bigger threat, and that they could be suspicious of the hero, and that might add a little spice. Linda mentioned that the hero's alarms could go off as well, which I hadn't thought of. (The options available to a writer are endless...)

Anyway, I'm going to go back and see if I can't beef up the writing. I've resorted to a couple fights early in the book, and they're appropriate, but I can't keep going to the same well, so the threat will need to be something else, probably more subtle.

I'm listening to the little signals from inside me that there is more to be had there. I think I'd lost touch with those signals a little over the last few books. Maybe because I don't feel like there are any deadlines, I'm letting this evolve a little more instead of pushing it.