Good lord. I appear to have finished writing the first draft of Craven Place. That makes it my third completed novel, and you’ll forgive me for indulging a little further in the drinking of vino this evening.
Damn me though, it’s short. Three quarters the length of Cuckoo, my only published novel to date, itself no monster. Next to my second novel Thy Fearful Symmetry, currently in the wilds trying to hunt down a publisher, it’s a dwarf, only a little more than half the length. As my friend Jackie C says though, it’s about quality, not quantity.
I think she was talking about the novel. I shall continue to charitably assume so.
There have been some surprises along the way, particularly in the way the supernatural elements surged to the fore, so much more than in the screenplay on which the book is based. Oh, and then there was the cameo from Dexter Lomax, in the final pages. That came out of left field. Some of you have met Dexter before, in the novella The Flesh Remembers, and the short story The Loch. You might even be waiting for his further adventures, which I long ago promised to write, and plan this year to make good on. His appearance is appropriate, because he was born in Craven Place.
Oh yes, before those other stories, Dexter was created for Craven Place. In the screenplay, he was one of the central characters, and I liked him so much I used him again later on. By the time of those later tales however, he had evolved some, to better suit their overtly fantastical elements. He’s no longer the same man he was in the screenplay, and trying to make him fit his former role in Craven Place has proven impossible, at least if I’m to keep him consistent with his previous published appearances. As such, his role in this book is now taken by one Max Fletcher, who has proven a worthy replacement. With Max centre stage, I thought that Dexter was no longer required for the novel.
Dexter disagrees, and when I was seeking an epilogue today, he sort of took over, and did it for me. Good to see him again, and a nice warm up for next month’s major project…
Of course, when I say the book is ‘done’, I’m only talking about the first draft. I’ll be printing it off tomorrow, and putting it aside for a month while I work on other things. Then I’ll be back into it with fresh eyes, for the second edit. Still, while it needs fine tuned, it’s a novel, on my hard drive, with a beginning, middle, and end.
Wow. Third novel, done. It’s an incredible feeling. Raise a glass with me, and toast to Craven Place.