A Very Cold Tale

Some weeks ago I submitted a short story to the Strange Horizon’s website. It was rejected, which was a little disappointing, but not the end of the world. I blogged then that I felt I could quite easily take that short story and make it into a full-length novel with just a few minor changes.

‘Unwelcome Visitors,’ is the result and it’s starting to come together now. I’m about 11k words in and I have a nice list of characters who’re investigating a strange murder and a number of missing persons , all up on a snow covered moor in the depths of winter.

Currently the time-scale covers just one day, although that will be extended as the action progresses, we’re nearly at the end of that first day.

We’ve had a second body found in unusual circumstances, but no obvious cause of death yet – probably need to wait for a post-mortem to get that.

Unlike the Leprechaun story, I’m telling this from a third-person point of view which I much prefer when I’m reading.

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.

Up and Running – Fully

Sorted out the issue with publishing the paperback version of Never Again it seems there’s a conflict between the latest version of Mac OS and the Print Previewer on Amazon.  Fortunately I could use my backup laptop that uses Linux and that worked with no problem.

I’ve ordered my copy of the paperback, should be here on Tuesday.  I’ll check that out first and then think about marketing properly.

In the meantime I’ve started on Loose Louche.  There’s no expected end date yet. It could be a couple or three months.

Up and Running (sort of)

Never Again The Prequel to Seven Sisters Series is now published.  At least in epub form.  For some reason the paperback version is reluctant to complete.  Not to worry I’ll have another go at it tomorrow.  I only really wanted to publish this version in ebook form anyway.

Next on the list is a thriller, hopefully with some comic elements.  Got a few of the characters named and described already, at least in my head.  Some of them have already appeared in very short story form over the past eighteen months or so.  Got a working title of Loose Louche, but that has to change, obviously.

Once that’s out of the way, I’ll get to work on Maia: Book 2 in Seven Sisters Series.  Got the chapter headings for that loosely sorted out.

Hopping from one genre to another should help to avoid getting bored.

Slowly but (not so) surely

Never Again is now fully drafted and has had its first edit.  Still not entirely convinced that all the parts are necessary or that they all work, so I’ll probably print it out today some time and read the hard copy.  It currently runs to 120 pages  but that’s with the extra line spacing that Word seems to put in when I import from Scrivener.

Not to worry, I have styles set up that should take care of all that.  Plus I need to separate the whole thing into magaeable chapters and create a Table of Contents for the e-version.

Looks like with a bit of luck I might make this week-end after all.

Success after a fashion

The first draft of the prequel is now complete.  The final word count was about 31k.  And today I managed over 6k words which is rather more than I intended to do in one day but when the mood strikes you, you have to go with it.

Now I’m into editing and some minor re-writing.  The Hemingway program is actually very powerful and it really makes you think about how you should be writing the book in the first place.  I guess it’s something to aim for, the hope that I can put a book into Hemingway and have it report, ‘Nope, nothing to see here.’

Also decided on a definitive title for the book.  it will be named ‘Never Again.’  Which is a quote from one of the characters, not a plea after writing this one.

Getting closer?

Do we get closer to the end as we write more?  I’ve done another 1500 words this morning and had hoped that I’d be almost done with the first draft by now.  Yet I could go on, and on, and on… and still not arrive at an ending.

I still need to read and edit the whole thing and then sort out a cover and I still can’t think of a decent name for the finished product.

I was interrupted for a few minutes of fun this morning, by a call from ‘Jack’ who had pretty good English but with a decidedly Indian accent.  He was calling from ‘Microsoft Security’ who he said had just installed a security patch on my Windows computer.  He wanted to take over my computer so he could show me and ‘help to keep my computer secure.’  The pity of it was I’m a bit to busy for that sort of help at the moment, plus I don’t actually use a Windows computer.  Perhaps he mistook me for someone else.  Like maybe an idiot.

I’m not going to get much done this afternoon.  Got to go for a saxophone lesson in an hour.  Let’s hope I can tie this prequel thing up tonight.

A prequel or a saga?

So today I managed around 5k words.  I was out this evening or it might have been more!

The big battle scene isn’t quite as big. But I left an opening for a sequel to the prequel!  So I guess that will have to do.

The first draft should be done tomorrow or the day after, and then it’s editing and re-writing and prep for publishing. Not sure if it’ll be only ePub or paperback.

Plus of course I need a name for it.

Progress is being made

Well my first thought was about 15k words as a prequel.  I reached that with ‘just the big battle scene to craft’ so I extended the expectation to 20k words.  I just passed 20k this evening and still feel that over half the scene is still to come.  Maybe 25-30k words in the first draft.

I will definately hack some (lots) of the dross out of the earlier parts, although probably not the very beginning, which I quite like.

Just got Hemingway software today.  It claims to simplify and streamline your text.  It spots sections that are difficult to understand, unneeded words, etc.  looks like a useful piece of software.  I ran the first draft very quickly through it this afternoon and was more than a little embarrassed at how much it thought was wrong.  In my defence, this was just a very rough first draft.