It’s been a month since I said I’d try to post at least a couple of times a month. Heigh-ho. There’s one rash promise scuppered a-borning.
The book is going well, I think. I probably won’t know for sure for another month or so, when I can see if where the opening I’ve constructed is taking me is where I intended to be. Or is even remotely interesting. (I assure you that these are quite distinct, though hopefully not mutually exclusive outcomes.)
I keep thinking it’s harder than the first book, although looking back that one certainly didn’t feel easy at the time. But it is a technical challenge of a different order entirely. I have to reintroduce a world and characters that I’ve already established in Gemsigns, in sufficient detail to orient new readers and to remind those for whom some time may pass between books; but not in so much detail that I am essentially repeating huge chunks of Gemsigns. I have to try and preserve at least some of the secrets of Gemsigns, so that this book doesn’t entirely spoil that one for those who may come to this first.
Some of those secrets so fundamentally inform what happens next – what I’m writing now – that I can’t post excerpts without undermining the pleasure that I hope you, my potential, prospective readers, will get from Gemsigns. I’m meeting with my publishers in a few weeks, and I’ll talk to them about posting a few extracts from Gemsigns now and then. Which, in addition to hopefully generating interest and feedback, will also boost my blog output with little or no extra effort on my part.
Yes, I know that is a completely self-serving and cheeky reason, but don’t beat me up too badly. Please. I was novel-writing until 1 o’clock this morning, and I suspect I may not have had enough coffee.
(Progress report: 20,000+ words, chapters 1-6 complete, plus another long-ish and crucial scene which will go … somewhere. Soon. All major and most minor characters – some of whom are new to this book – have been introduced; plots and sub-plots are up and running. Fairly happy with the prose, although I do have to watch out for seepage: I read a Philip Pullman novel a few weeks ago and for a moment I too was writing retro Victoriana; then an Iain Banks novel and suddenly there was a fair bit of existential angst; now GK Chesterton and an invasion of Edwardian rhetoric. The good news is I can spot and block it pretty quickly. But it is interesting.)