My big project for the now is to expand the novella I was working on through 2019 into a novel-length manuscript – for semi-secret reasons that a bunch of people in my immediate circle know about, but which I’m not making public yet. The cool thing about the meeting that led to this novella-to-novel plan is that when the suggestion was first made, I immediately thought, “Oh, yeah, I can totally see that. I can do that no problem.”
You can probably guess where this is going.
As you can see from my word count on the list below, I haven’t slouched on the novella expansion these last couple of weeks. (Sweet fuck, has it been two weeks since I posted last? How in the hells did that happen?) But getting back into writing new words for this story has been an adventure. Basically the existing novella focused on a bunch of characters with a long history together; they’d mention past events that caused them to drift apart, including specific things each of them said, but the focus was very much on the now. The decision we’ve come to for the novel is to actually show those events in detail, in what probably be periodic interludes since I don’t like a lot of heavy flashbacking. Not nearly as much bounce as The Witcher or Haunting of Hill House, or even Lost, but a similar idea.
The easy part comes from the fact that part of writing the original novella was making a bunch of notes about all of this backstory, so I have the bones of it all mostly figured out. What I don’t have is the heart: I know the emotional core of those scenes, and how each of them develops the relationships between my characters, but it’s figuring out how to properly convey that that’s the trick. Plus they’re different people in these new scenes I’m writing, which I have to keep in mind when I consider their dialogue and decisions, without overcomplicating to the point that I paralyze myself. And of course I started with the most difficult flashback scene, which maybe wasn’t the smartest idea, but I never claimed to be 100% smart all the time.
It means I’ll have to shrug off some other projects I want to write until I get this done, but that’s another story. In the meantime, wish me luck! I’m sure I’ll keep you posted here, especially when I feel like procrastinating.
What I did in the last
week TWO WEEKS OH GODS
- Talked contributor copies and publicity for upcoming anthology
- Signal boost comic release of “True Balance”
- 5300 words on the novella-to-novel
- Coordinated author visits at work for I Read Canadian Day
- Revised and submitted article on ELLs
- Probably other little things I don’t remember
Shout-out of the Week!
I’ve had the good pleasure to hang out with Jason Sanford at pretty much every SFF con I make it to in the States (Jason gets around) and read some of his short fiction over the years, which is excellent. Recently, though, I’ve been impressed by his coverage of newsworthy stuff going on in our industry through his Genre Grapevine column on Patreon. It’s not easy taking a journalistic look at the industry you’re a part of, so I have mad respect that Jason’s willing to do it, and with care and professionalism. If you want a taste of that, check out his recently-published #SFF2020: The State of Genre Magazines, which examines the economics of the big SFF short fiction markets, including interviews with some of the top editors in the U.S. I’ve been at this a while now, and it enlightened me!