I spent most of this month working on the Tank project. I was somewhat distracted by the release of The Unconquered Sun. Finished the Rev. 0 Draft (about 32k). A lot of work still to be done on it. There’s a lot of reshaping and rethinking to be done for sure and I’m not sure it is going to be a novella or a novel. Generally, my projects increase in size every draft, so it might reach novel length yet. But the main thing for me is that the story achieves the length necessary for its telling. I’m under no obligation to meet X thousand words.
At the moment I am working on a short story which probably illustrates what will happen with Tank. The Rev.0 was 5k words and the Rev.1 is now at 6.5k, but there’s probably not one word that hasn’t been changed at least once. I like short stories because everything usually clicks into place so much faster (if they click at all). You can see the whole thing taking shape very quickly.
As soon as the Rev. 1 of this story is finished, I’m going to start the Rev. 0 of another project, Diary, a horror novel (hopefully in genre, not execution.) If it gets too dark I might switch to the light fantasy project, Knife. I’m also hoping to complete the Rev. 2 of the short story I am currently working on. This month I will be also releasing the paperback version of The Unconquered Sun.
So, at the start of January, I was working on one project (Spaghetti) and by the end of the month I was working on a different novel (Tank). So what happened? I enjoyed writing Spaghetti. I had a fairly good outline. I liked the characters. The writing needed a lot more fleshing out but that’s the nature of first drafts. I was over 20k through the story when on the morning of Friday 22nd I began to question whether the story was original enough. I knew that under the bonnet, there was something new, but I worried it would become evident too late in the story. By 10 am, I decided to park it. I worked on a second draft of short story for the day while I mulled what to do next.
On Monday, I started work on Tank, because I finally figured out how to overcome the POV issues the story posed. I’m very happy with the direction the story is taking. While I don’t have an exhaustive outline, I have most of the key events already written in some rough fashion. In a week, I had four and a half chapters completed (8k words). The writing felt solid, though obviously it needs polish and there are plenty of burrs to be planed away. Research held up writing a couple of times. Sometimes, it’s easier to wait to learn the questions before looking for answers. You can waste a lot of time on superfluous detail only to find it’s a waste of time because there’s some underlying fundamental flaw in your basic premise.
I am hoping to have the first draft finished by St. Patrick’s Day. In the meantime, The Unconquered Sun will be finally released on 11th February.
People are asking me about my new novel will be out (The Unconquered Sun which will be released on Amazon on 11th February 2016), but my focus has already moved on. Before Christmas, I mapped out five new projects. I gave them all generic working titles for the moment. Will all of them hatch into novels? I don’t know yet. Even the calmest waters can hide rocks to sink the unwary. But each idea has its own merit.
The first and foremost I am working on is called (note this is not the finished title) Spaghetti. I hope to have the first draft finished by St. Patrick’s Day. Considering my first book took 12 years and my second book technically took 14 years, this is ambitious for me. The book is fully outlined and *cough* is the most straightforward of the five projects. The biggest challenge is that it is essentially a science fiction story where fantasy sensibilities predominate.
The second, Knife, is a light fantasy set in a secondary world. The main characters are pretty much there as are the main plot twists. I’ve done some exploratory writing to map it out and have about nearly a quarter of the first draft already written.
Tank is a science fiction colonization story. Again, a quarter is already written but the mechanics of the POV have yet to be worked out. I am planning to write this in the present tense.
Diary is a dark fantasy/horror. Like Tank, there’s a few viewpoint issues to decide plus some research to do, but the basic plot is advanced and I have a chunk of the first draft written.
Photocosm 4 (Photocosm 3 being The Parting Gift) is a sequel to The Golden Rule and kicks off a new series. Some of the survivors from The Unconquered Sun may appear but the focus moves westward to the city of Formicary. The first half of the story is pretty much worked out but the second half needs a bit of work.
Oh yes, I will be also working on some short stories.
In short, I will be sitting in front of a screen A LOT this year. 🙂
I plan to do a monthly update on progress to keep you all up to date.
I am delighted to announce that The Unconquered Sun will be released on 11th February 2016. It is now available for pre-order on Amazon HERE.
Ever wish you were someone else? AscendantSun is about to…
He is beset by foes. The Harbinger’s legions threaten the people he strives to defend. Critics among his own followers undermine him. The ambitions of his unreliable ally, Garscap Torp, endanger him at every turn. Worse, the blood-thirsty god he spurned is about to return. However, the greatest enemy he must face is himself.
The riddle set for him on the Crooked Stair will be answered on the bloody fields of Cliffringden. But will he survive it?
First bit of news is that I have finished the current round of edits of The Unconquered Sun and it’s back again with my editor. Before The Unconquered Sun is released, I will be publishing a short story set in the same world called The Parting Gift. The draft blurb is below:
Certamen’s god is dead. His people, the Ors, are broken and enslaved. He finds consolation in the knowledge that they are safe… But not for much longer. Their masters, facing decimation by disease, are growing desperate. Desperate enough to kill.
I have a choice of covers for it so I am running a poll to decide which cover is the most popular. Please vote HERE!
I am delighted that A Bright Power Rising has been honored with the B.R.A.G.Medallion. This is a stamp of quality for Indie books. The selection process is very strict. Books undergo an initial screening process to ensure minimum quality standards are in place. If the book passes this hurdle (50% fail), it is appraised by IndieBRAG’s reviewers based on a comprehensive list of criteria relating to the writing, the story and layout. One key criterion is would they recommend the book to their best friend. Only 10% of submissions receive the B.R.A.G.Medallion.
I just received a round of edits of The Unconquered Sun, resulting in the usual array of vowel sounds (ooh, eh? ah, aha, etc), followed by cracking knuckles and feverish typing. The release date will be confirmed when the book is more advanced through the editing process. In the meantime, to wet your appetites, below is the cover, again by Marek Purzychi. It matches pretty well with the cover for A Bright Power Rising. I was a bit queasy about moving my name further up the cover, Frankly, if the Golden Rule was a trilogy, I wouldn’t have agreed to it. But I think it captures the Sol Invictus motif spectacularly. Hopefully, what will be behind the cover will be as good.
In other news, the short story which will hopefully be released before The Unconquered Sun has also been submitted for editing. More details on it shortly.