Congratulations are in order for me. I think. I just passed the 40,000 word mark on a writing project, meaning that it is now officially novel length.
Um, no… it’s not the UFO Novel. I’m at 50k plus on that one, and it’s a big project, a long write, and I’m taking a break from it at the moment…
What I’m supposed to have been doing right now is work on a couple of other things that have become pressing in the wake of Drawing Down the Moon being picked up via the Kindle Scout race. First, I’ve slowly been trying to get the three books of the Angel’s Luck trilogy cleaned up after being OCR scanned and into formats for both Kindle and trade paperback. Then it will be on to do the same for the two Pembroke Hallnovels, putting them both into a single volume to create the Author’s Intended Version.
I’ve also, at the behest of an illustrator friend of mine, dug out an orphaned manuscript from some time ago – a middle grade novel that, at the time I’d hoped would be a child’s gateway to science fiction, without having any ties to those Trek or Wars franchises. It had been sitting quite a while, and I needed to update it for the age of the cell phone and tech savvy young people. The revision is almost done, and then I’m shipping it off to my mighty artist.
But none of those is what I’ve been working on…
Before you jump all over me for this, hear me out. I’m a writer. I can’t help it. This is what happens to us. Lots of times an opening scene pops into my head, I write it down and file it. Sometimes it waits for years before I come back and do anything with it.
Not so this time.
How I got to this moment is a long story, but in a nutshell: near the end of June I got an idea for an opening chapter of something and wrote it down. I went to file and forget it, but the scene kept coming back, bringing friends, playing CDs and making calls to Japan on my phone. As I jotted short chapters in a session or two, I realized that this project was just what I’ve been looking for over the last couple of years: The first in an open ended series of lighthearted crime novels, able to be written quickly because each chapter is designed to be written in one sitting (my writing pattern of late has been one chapter a week based on their length).
I’m thinking commercially with this new project. The UFO novel is decidedly non-commercial, just me flexing literary muscle. I’ve wanted for some time to develop something like this, probably published under a pen name – the idea being that this series of novels wouldn’t be the typical Joe Clifford Faust novel (if there is such a thing), the different name being an indicator of that.
I started writing in earnest in September and crossed the 40k word mark today. Twenty-seven chapters so far. Halfway through for both my projected final word count and final number of chapters. At this rate I might finish it up by the end of October or the first week of November, setting a record of just over two months of solid writing (previous record holder Precious Cargo took four).
So there you go. With a minimum of fanfare and almost no previewing or teasing I’ve slipped in half a book under the radar of most everybody. It’s been a fun secret to keep and a fun write so far, but it’s time to mention it and keep myself honest for writing the back half. Crime Series Novel #1, here we come!