Almost There

Well (almost) all of the writing has been done.  I’m editing and correcting at the moment, which should take a few days and the ending just needs rounding off neatly.

The major issue at the moment is the title.  Loose Louche simply won’t do so I’m actively considering alternatives. This is actually turning out to be more difficult than writing the actual book; the story just tells itself and all I usually have to do is write it down.  The title has to be worked out and worked up.  I’m reluctant to have something which is too bland, it needs to show that we’re following an adventure in a somewhat surreal world. I’m quite sure I can work out a sub-title easily enough once the main title is sorted.

Then I have to arrange a cover illustration, probably using some of the character illustrations that were shown in the last blog post. I have an idea of what I want to do, I’m just not sure I can pull it off graphically.

Finally, I have to think seriously about marketing.  There’s no point in going to all this trouble if nobody can find the book to read it, so I can see some serious learning curves up ahead.

Getting Close

The word count is now around 78k, I’ve still got quite a bit of story to tell and it looks as though the finished work will run to around 85-90k words.  We now have the final member of the team in place: MG. He’s already proved his worth with a daring rescue. He’s still struggling with the new ‘world’ that he’s suddenly discovered, but I’m sure he’ll be fine.

We’ve had our first serious encounter with the villain (after all this time). it didn’t go well, but there’s still a chance to rectify that situation  I have a feeling that we need a liaison type, contact with the local police. It would certainly simplify things and hopefully set up some interesting conflicts involving LW

Just read some advice that we should really be ‘saving the world’ and that the journey our Main Character undertakes should be global in scale. Can’t say that I’m going to start the whole story over again and go down that route. I’m going to run with this idea and see how it pans out in the end.

Feedback

I submitted the first draft of the first chapter to the Critters Workshop and I’ve now received the results. So far four separate critiques have come in and they all seem to say much the same. The content is good and the story takes them along, however there are some issues with the grammar and puntuation.

In my defence this was only a first draft and hadn’t been proof read to any great extent. Plus, I had a bit of a struggle getting the story actually uploaded via the submission screen, and it seems I may have lost a little of the formtting in the process.

Still, I now know that I need to pay a lot more attention to grammar, instead of taking for granted that I’d get it right first time.

There were also a few minor comments about the characters that I’ve been ablt to address.  While doing that, I had a second, longer think about Lucy the Guardian of the Knowledge, or LW. When I thought about her I could see that there was a serious discrepancy between her character at initial appearance and the characteristics she displays later in a more confrontational situation. That’s now sorted, I think.

All in all the critiquing process seems to be well worth the effort involved. It’s always good and useful to get some proper and independant views on your work.

Action

Added some action scenes recently.  Marc and his team needed to get out more, so they have. Been upsetting the opposition to an extent, although they’re going to have to do a fair bit more of that before they’re done.  i just hope it doesn’t get out of hand.

LW, Marc’s girl friend is developing into a very strong character in her own right.  Not afraid to take on the big boys and determined not to be left out ‘just because she’s female’.   I think I’ll have to give her more of a back story to explain where she’s coming from.

I was thinking about adding one more character to the team, mainly to deal with the more mundane real world sorts of jobs that they might be asked to undertake as well as being able to act as a sort of ‘first reserve’ when they need an extra pair of hands.

I could probably also do with more activity in the office block. So far there hasn’t been any at all and while the peculiar circumstances of the building could explain a lot of that, the fact that it is so immense suggests there should be something going on more or less constantly.

I’ve been managing about 1500 words a day for the last few days so I’m feeling quite productive, although I imagine I’m going to have to go back and re-write some sections to tighten them up a bit.

Total word count is now approaching 57k so I’m almost 75% of the way to my target. Not really sure if the story will end on target or if I’ll over run, not a real issue either way.

Strange Horizons

Just had a rejection email from Strange Horizons for my story, ‘A Winters Tale.’ I have to say I’m not surprised, my story when I had a deeper look at their output was not a good fit for them.  It’s a fairly straight forward beginning, middle and a rather brutal end sort of thing, whereas their stories seem to be more fluid in their approach to story telling. Not to worry. Now I can use it elsewhere.

It’s probably a bit too long to add to the other short stories on here (5000 words), and it will I think, make a decent opening chapter for a full length novel. It’s set in 1873 and located on the moors in the North of England. The basic premise although it wasn’t explicit in the short version is, ‘How would the Victorians deal with an alien presence?’

It’s going to have to take its place in the queue of projects that I’ve already got in mind. But it won’t be forgotten.

Also added a couple more short stories to the site. Follow the link on the right of this page.

Playing Catch Up

Real life has got in the way for the past week or so. and I’ve not been able to keep to my preferred schedule.  I’ve been able to get a few words down here and there and move the story along at least a little, just not as much as I’d hoped and of course this blog hasn’t been updated in that time. Still, we’re back.

Marc has now got his extra member of staff and very useful she’s proving to be.  Her background is a perfect match to Marc’s needs, (that was lucky?), and importantly she’s been accepted by the rest of the team. Purely coincidentally she’s in possession of an important item that might come in useful later, it remains to be seen.

2k words so far today and still got an hour or so before i need to start thinking about bed. the overall word count is now approaching 44k. my aim is to finish this story by the end of the month. it looks as though it can be done, but it’ll probably be a close run thing.

Still not decided on a suitable title, I’m hoping something will pop into my head when I’m not thinking about it. i just wish it would happen now rather than on the day I decide to publish.

Moving On

About 4500 words in the last couple of days.  Marc is now in negotiations with LSO and GG about the way forward.  He has decided what to do about the task from his first client, and that needs to be implemented; more importantly he is now seeing more clearly what LSO’s position is.  This is not a bad thing, but it introduces an element of chance that he didn’t originally expect.

By way of a sweetener, I think he’s going to force the introduction of a new member of staff onto his team. This will be LW, mentioned below.   It will also be the first member of staff that he has seected entirely by himself.  Her background will fit in as an almost exact match for their current project.  I think I’ve got a good hook to get her in despite LSO’s earlier adamant stand on refusing to co-operate with outsiders.  GG will of course do whatever his boss tells him to.  I wonder if that is Marc or  LSO?

Short Stories

I’ve now submitted my short story, ‘A Winter’s Tale’ to the Strange Horizons website.  Having read a few of their previous stories I’m starting to think that it’s maybe not really ‘strange’ enough.  Still,  we can only wait and see and nothing lost in the process.

In the event that it’s not accepted then I think I could make a fiull novel out of it relatively easily;  just remove the last two paragraphs and take the story on from there.

In the meantime I’ve written an even shorter story for the local critical writing group.  I’ve also created a new section on this site that includes some of my short stories.  Select ‘Short Stories’ from the menu on the right.

I’ve also started adding to the Loose Louche novel again.  After the revelations from LSO it seems Marc has sought refuge in his local pub, where he has re-met with Lucy the Guardian of the Knowledge (LW from now on).  There is an obvious attraction between them and although Marc doesn’t yet realise it he is being hooked and landed.

By Way of a Change

I decided to take a break from leprechauns and private detectives for today.  Spent most of the morning working on a short story that is currently entitled – Winter 01.  Not very original i know but titles seem to choose themselves when I get to the end of the story.

This is intended to be a detective/police story, set in Victorian times and concerning ‘mysterious goings on’.  I suspect that the story will be unfinished, that is there will be no big Agatha Christie type explanation just before the end.

I’m hoping to submit it to Strange Horizons which is an on-line magazine dedicated to ‘speculative fiction.’  It might be worth taking a chance especially as they pay for publications.  The only down side I can see is that they insist on 10K absolute maximum and they prefer under 5K.  short stories have always been a challenge for me so perhaps having a firm target in mind will do me good.

2500 words today on the short story, I’d previously done about 1,800 words.  I think I’m going to have to accept that either I go over the ‘recommended’ 5K limit and take it from there.

Looking for Answers

Now that Marc has got GG alone he is trying to get answers as to what is actually going on and what is the meaning of the situation he finds himself in?

I’m not too sure of what the answers are myself and I’m writing it all.  Going to have to sleep on the problem and come up with some answers myself so that we can move the story along.  This is an unusual situation because generally I can see the overall picture in my head and I just need to fill in the detail.   At the moment I can see some of the detail but I don’t really know what comes next.

What i do know is that the villains will be really villainous and the good guys will be really good.  There is very little space in this story for shades of grey.

i have one main character who has yet to put in an appearance, B.  He has more than a whiff of sulfur about him, but he’s the exception to the rule about shades of grey.  He has some redeeming features and a serious crush on one of the goodies, Pd’E.  We’ll have to see how that pans out.

Been managing around 2000 words a day for the last few days.  Now standing around 31K in total.  Still a long way to go but at least I can see progress.