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.

In the Lion’s Den

So Marc and GG have their prize but now have to try and figure a way to get it out without being caught.  Easier said than done, especially when they’re both in the same van and it’s not their van, and they’re not even driving it.

Getting out might not be the hardest part.  They have to get back in tomorrow and return the prize before it’s missed.

I’m not entirely sure what the prize actually is.  We currently only have the unlikely word of the client, and we don’t know if we can trust her.  Possibly (probably ) not.

This wasn’t intended to be the main plot line, just a sort of relatively simple training exercise sort of outing for Marc and the team.  It seems to have taken on a whole life of its own and it’s getting more and more complicated   the farther into it that Marc moves.

Managed another 2000+ words today.  Total word count is now around 26K, which means we’re slightly more than a quarter of the way to the current target figure of 80k.

It just gets harder

So Marc and his intrepid team, only GG at the moment, are involved in recovering property for Marc’s first client.  It’s rapidly becoming clear that this is a much bigger and harder nut to crack than they had anticipated.  Uniform security guards outside, plain clothed security guards inside and CCTV all over the place.  I’m not sure if they can actually pull it off – and I’m the one writing it!

No new main characters today, a few minor ones, incidental to what I’m thinking of as ‘the heist’.  The premises to be cracked are impressive to the extent of palatial.  One problem is, once I start to look at this heist, I immediately start to think of other plots and plot lines leading off from this one.  For example, the target was just somebody who ran a few gyms.  But the extent of his home and the need for all this security implies a lot more than just a gym owner.  Drugs? arms? people trafficking? or given the universe that the story exists in, could it be something even worse?

I’ve set my daily target at 1500 words and on a day with not too much else going on I can easily exceed that, done 1650 tonight so it’s good.  Just read a forum post from a very experienced writer who says she can do four 130k word novels a year.  that’s something like 1450 words a day, every single day – very impressive.

and a New Character

Been busy for a couple of days so not a lot done, but today achieved the target of 1500 words before noon.  Marc has his first client, although it’s a tricky assignment, involving an idea and loads of muscular and violent opponents.  There are of course time constraints and problems involved in completing the assignment.  But I guess there always will be.

He’s been instructed by SB, his first employee to take on GG as his second.  It’s not really clear at this stage who is in charge here.  Marc, of course thinks it should be him, while SB, of course knows that it’s her.

What Marc doesn’t know yet is what is the relationship between all of the characters around him.  How old is the office building he’s using and just how big is it, really?  He’s not really had time to get his bearings yet.  So let’s keep him running to stay in the same place.

I’m still without a suitable title, but I am starting to think about a proper cover design rather than the bland ones available on the Amazon Cover Designer site.

New Plot line

I’ve had a couple of fairly busy days, so not got a lot done, but today managed 2.2k words, so we’re getting back on track.  our hero Marc now has a definite date for his fortune to arrive.  On the strength of that he’s signed up for an office in a rather strange office block.  It’s run by Pd’E who I think might turn out to be a bit more than the real estate agent that Marc thinks she is.

He’s also got himself a receptionist/assistant, SB after she interviewed him, somewhat aggressively I thought, but then again she is super efficient and might be able to instill in him the discipline he really needs to make a go of the business.  Plus she’s a friend of Marc’s new room-mate and between them they can exert a lot of push on the poor hero.

It’s strange how these things happen, but I was sitting and munching on a few crisps, which I don’t normally eat when I thought of the beginnings of what might just turn out to be a major plot line.  This is involving his previous boss CB and the two main villains, AC and his evil twin sister SC.  Sometimes you need an opportunity to think rather than keep plugging away and on this occasion I think it will work out nicely.  I’ve already got a couple of other plot lines in my head.  One was always going to be minor and the other, while it would have been major had started to feel a bit like a cliche.  That can now become less important and the new major plot line should be both unusual and topical enough to please readers.

Lucy the Guardian of the Knowledge

Just a bit part for Lucy as yet.  But she might just pop up later in the story.  It’s coming along quite nicely I think.  I do have a tendency to be a bit wordy sometimes but I guess its easier to write too much and then cut it back later than it is to write too little and end up worrying that you need to pad the story out.

8k words so far including 1600 today.  Our hero has now got enough money to start his business.  Tomorrow he’ll have to find an office and then on to the staff.  I’m looking forward to introducing the staff.  I’ve got some suitably weird characters lined up.  One of the villains SC has at least been mentioned, albeit in passing, but there’s a quite convenient hook to bring her into direct conflict with the hero .

The main villain AC is still waiting out there.  I think his relationship with the hero will be similar to that of SC and I can already see just how they work together, at least in this incarnation.

Stay tuned for more story details later.