Thursday, 3 December 2015

40k of Secrets

I have been woefully, woefully lax on my writing regime. Taken me almost a month to add 5,000 words to Secret Order since I've been traipsing about Scotland with friends.

I waddled over the 40k mark on Monday. In my mind that's a halfway point for the first book in the trilogy. If I can bring them in at 80k, 240k total, I think that's respectable.

I've been angsting a little, though.

Writing a series isn't like writing a one-off. In my mind, I have three books to wrap up one story. Yet, looking at other people's trilogies, there's often a part of the subplot that gets wrapped up each book.

In a series that isn't a neat three-booker, the main characters usually stay the same, the books can contain running themes, but there needs to be a satisfactory story arc within each book. Crime thrillers and detective series sort of stuff.

I'm adamant it's going to be three books. I've always wanted to write a trilogy. A trilogy is what I'll write. I'm not interested in a running series, though I suppose there's always a prologue and epilogue spin-off you could add ten years down the line if it remained popular. 

But it is difficult doing this.


A challenge.

At halfway through the first book, I feel as though I'm only just finding my feet - working out what the rules are. I'm writing multiple characters in short sections, and already it's clear that I'll need to rearrange those sections once I'm done, because none of the timelines match up. 

I'm stopping regularly because I made the mistake of adding a detective, not knowing a thing about the policing world other than what I've seen on The Bill. This necessitates frequent Facebook messages to an exceedingly patient and forbearing friend in the Met. Yes, it's magical surrealism, but it needs to be believable magical surrealism.

Honestly, I can't see any part of this I can wrap up neatly in the next 40,000 words. Especially when I can't even imagine where the second book will begin. Planning isn't my forte. With a trilogy I'm beginning to suspect this is not such an asset. 

I am enjoying it, though. I have a couple of stories on the go at the moment. This and my creepy one-off have me hooked, though not hooked enough to sit down and finish them. Planning to pay my rent once I get back to Kigali and sit down for a marathon couple of months' writing. Haven't even started edits with Ghostwoods on The Children of Lir yet, so it's highly likely I'll have Secret Order close to submission by the time that's out next year. 

The boring practicalities of a writer's career, eh?

Thought I'd come back to the UK and do lots of writing, but instead I've just done lots of eating and standing under hot showers. Think I'll just embrace this lifestyle until the New Year.

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