A day off yesterday was hugely beneficial, but also gave me a chance to look around, blinking. Between xmas and preparing for the vacation (three more sleeps) I have a lot of non-novel stuff to do over the next few days, and there’s no way I can keep my word count on The 20 Day Novel up at the same time. Rather than sleep badly, work poorly, and gnaw my hands off in frustration, I’m going to hit pause on the book. I’ll finish off the current chapter before I leave, which should take me up to a staggering second act betrayal, then I’m going to hit pause. Day 17 will happen when I get back from Hong Kong in January.
Over the next few days I’ll skim the work so far for all the things I need to change in order to accommodate the ideas I had late on. It’s small tweaks – a word here, an inference there, a character moved from one spot to a different one so that certain things make sense. I was leaving all that for the second draft, but anything I can get done now puts me ahead of the game.
It’s probably unlikely that the book will be finished in twenty days of writing, even when I get my days back to devote to it, but we’ll see it through to the end here. If not twenty, it won’t be much more than that. I’m really happy with how it’s turning out. The book was always going to be dark, but there’s a counterpoint of humour to it that I didn’t expect to turn up. For the most part, that comes from the characters. For all that the team are dealing with some horrific things, they’re doing so in a largely naturalistic world where this is their day job. People in bleak or difficult jobs – at least the ones I want to write about – tend to develop a fairly black sense of humour as one of several tools they use to get through the day. The characters have said several things that made me laugh or smile when they popped out. I’ll look for more of those bits as I go through it.
And thanks for reading along. Having company along the way has been splendid. I hope you come back after the bells, and we’ll get this done.
While I’m writing this novel, I’m also preparing to release another called The Flesh Market towards the end of January 2014. A story of science, murder, obsession, and the walking dead, the book creeps between the slums of 19th century Edinburgh and the ivory towers of its academia. In the next few weeks, well before the book is released, I’ll be giving everybody signed up to my email newsletter a free ebook copy for their Kindles, Nooks, smartphones, etc. At the top right of this page is a ‘Newsletter Signup’ box. Stick your email in and you’re done. Your details will never be passed on, to anybody, ever. Thanks!