Thursday 10 September 2015

The Story is Dead, Long Live the Story!

It's been a gruelling few days at the keyboard. Finished editing 308 pages of The Children of Lir. Knocked about 5,000 words off, down from 123k to a little over 118k. Tidied, polished, sprinkled a little glitter.

The earlier manuscript has already gone out to readers, and so far the feedback has apparently been positive. I read my editor's e-mails through my fingers. Taking on characters like the MorrĂ­gan is as intimidating as taking on the Opera Ghost, in that they have an established cult following of people with strong expectations of how that character should look and behave. 

You have to be quite mindful of that.

Anyway. That's that for now. I'm not at liberty to sign it away until later in the month. I decided to enter the manuscript in a competition, just for kicks. I'm not holding my breath, but one of the stipulations of the competition is that it can't have been accepted for publication before the results are announced. This seems a little odd, as they're not offering to publish the winning manuscript. But, their rules, and I don't want to jinx it by signing when there's only a couple of weeks to wait.

Meanwhile, I opened up Secret Order of the Literati the other day. This is a a manuscript I started at the beginning of July. I had to put it aside because work was manic at the time. Opening the file, I was expecting about 15,000 words. I was quite surprised to see I'd written over 23,000 - 85 pages. I think it's long on pages because there's a lot more dialogue in this than in most of what I write, and it's really fast-paced. Fast-paced dialogue equals a lot of line breaks. 

Just started reading back through now, and feeling excited by it. After Rosy Hours and Children of Lir, it's really refreshing to write something entirely from my own imagination again. It's far less literary than the stuff I've written before, with the exception, perhaps, of Georg[i]e - it's got that bounce. 

As I've mentioned, I'm looking for my first trilogy in this. Writing shorter books, but more of them. Hopefully something people could get hooked on. Characters you could cling to. I have no idea if it's going to work, but at the moment I'm feeling confident.

As the last line of CoL reads (at the moment, subject to editing): 

Each ending is its own beginning.

CoL - for me - is done. Here beginneth SoL

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