November 2022 Archive

Progress Report November ’22

I blink and it’s been 5 months since I did a progress report, god damn it, so HERE IS ONE.

I’ve finally finished part 3 of The Devils, and sent it off to my editors. We shall see how they respond. Hated it while I was writing it, which isn’t entirely unusual, but somehow always comes as a surprise. I’m feeling reasonably pleased now I’ve given it a savage and unsentimental edit, though. The first draft of this part was an overweight 76,000 words, and I’ve ended up cutting it down to 63,000, which is a lot better, but still makes it the longest part of the three I’ve written. I was aiming at 150-175k for length overall when I started, and it looks like the book’ll be more like 220-240k, which puts it on a par with some of my longest – Last Argument of Kings and Best Served Cold.

Next I’ve gotta plan out the final part and write it – the idea with this book was to freewheel a little bit, feel my way through it, take my time and experiment, so I’ve probably got a less firm grip on how the end will work than I have with any book I’ve written. Bit of a planning task to do therefore, followed by a lot of a writing task, and then there’ll be a major editing task, because getting an end in mind will settle a lot of questions about how the rest of the book needs to be, which will then need a fairly thorough prune and rewrite. I want to take a while to revise it too, work on the detail and the character voices. I think I’m generally more an architect than a gardener if that oversimplified distinction really means anything. We’ll see in the long run whether this slightly more garden-y approach produces a decent book, but as far as the process goes I think it’s probably made it feel like harder work – though first books in a new world generally are tougher than entries in an established series.

Over the last few years I’ve tended to post here less and less, and turn more and more to the quick gratification of twitter. Who knows what’ll happen to that site over the coming months, I very much doubt it’ll vanish entirely, but it may well become a less useful and appealing place to be. For now I don’t really see any compelling alternative on the social media side, but I may well dust off some of the cobwebs over here and post a bit more. The audience is smaller, but I very much doubt the place will be bought up by any mercurial billionaires (though hey, if any are reading, I am open to offers).

And, for the time being, that is all…

Read more | 48 comments | Posted in news, progress