It’s been a while since my last update, so, for those who can’t remember, I went on a little hiatus from the Cave so that I could focus on completing my current work-in-progress. That was supposed to be at the beginning of the year. Then it was the end of Feb… then March… then half a year later.
But – finally! – I can use possibly the most satisfying gif in the armoury of any Fantasy writer:
My second book, currently swanning around with the working title Blood In The Snow, is now complete. I mean, it’s only the first draft that’s complete and there’s still a whole bunch of work left to do, but the story is done! It has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
I don’t want to drop any spoilers yet, but it’s pretty fecking good too. Set in the same world as The Ember Child, it’s a stand alone novel that tells the story of a legendary warrior, who, after learning he has a terminal illness, sets out to confront his gods and demand an answer to the biggest question of all: what is the meaning of life?
What’s next then, you’ll be wondering? Well, unlike The Ember Child, this book feels a lot more like I’m on the traditional writer’s path. The first book took nearly eight years to write, mostly because I fell into the trap of editing as I went along. That meant every sentence I wrote was being revised multiple times before I was ready to move on. By the time I was finished, I wasn’t too keen on the thought of going through it all again multiple times over for new drafts – I was just ready to draw a line under it and move on.
This time I wanted to be far stricter in that regard, in the hope I would end up with a cleaner, more professional draft once complete. So I focused on getting it written, and I completed the new book in a third of the time (though admittedly it’s a fair bit shorter).
Now that the first draft is complete, I’ve decided to put it aside for a couple of months and get to work on the next book. After I’ve let it stew for a while, I’ll go back to Blood in the Snow and begin work on a second draft; tidying up the plot, correcting the geography, fleshing out the characters, and ironing out the inconsistencies. Then it’ll be off to beta-readers for their feedback, before a third and final draft to get it ready for submission.
In the meantime I’ve got plenty to keep me busy. Besides the family, including my ever-supportive wife and the amusing double act that is the terrifying Penzilla and the mighty Thor, I’ve got a gig writing book reviews for booknest.eu. I’ve also got a bunch of ideas for content up on the Cave.
My main aim is to take readers along with me on the writing journey of my new work-in-progress, including introductions and guides to the tools I use to help me write, and details of my own personal writing process (for those who might want to find new ideas to try out themselves).
What is the new book, I hear you ask? Well, I’ve gone for another standalone story before heading back to the Godsbane trilogy. Again, it’s set in the same world as my other books, but this story and the characters involved are all new. The story takes place in the Japanese inspired Tsuran, complete with Samurai-like swordsmen and a bloodthirsty quest for revenge. For an idea of the flavour, think “Akira Kurosawa with a splash of Game of Thrones”.
The main reason I’ve decided to go this way is because readers are more likely to pick up a standalone book than to start an unfinished series, and, if I decide to self-publish again, the more completed works I have on my shelf the better. So, with that in mind, I’ve already got cracking on the new one and I’m aiming to finish the first draft in a record time of one year (#challengeaccepted #preblaminglifeforanyfailure).
I’ll reveal as much as I can about the new book as I go along (without giving away my best ideas or spoiling it for would-be readers, obviously), so if it sounds like your cup of tea and you’d like to follow a writer’s progress from conception through to publication, please do stick around the Cave. There will be a lot more to come.
6th August 2019