It topped out at 135,000 words. But on Saturday morning I wrote the final words of my latest WIP, the novel Summer, and put it to rest. It’s cooling its heels in a folder on my drive now, and I will do my best not to revisit it until the holidays are over and 2017 has rolled in. Once January gets here, I’ll open it back up and began the editing and re-write by taking what I have and doing a “reverse outline”, basically a synopsis where each chapter gets one page to describe what happens plus some notes on how I might want to change or improve it (plus resorting chapters into a better order). I’m hoping that will help me to do the edits in a more organized fashion than I did with the first novel.
Editing was my least favorite part of the first novel, but I do think I have a better work for having gone through it several times and made changes. I may make one more major change, switching from third person to first person, a better reflection of the noir mystery roots it attempts to reflect even though it’s at heart a fantasy novel. I’m waiting for three more agent responses before I undertake that, though.
That seems to be my favorite type of story to write. Something that bends and combines genres, doesn’t fit neatly into one category. Shadow of a Doubt is a mystery story, and it’s an urban fantasy story, and it’s an alternate history story, and I love that it tries to combine all three of those. Summer is magical realism and urban fantasy and high fantasy with a little steam punk thrown in for good measure. The next one I write? Well I’m still considering either the WWI fantasy novel (steel nations versus green nations, or technology versus magic if you prefer) which would combine alternate history with fantasy, or the comic fantasy detective story I was messing around with early this year which would combine mystery, crime fiction, fantasy and fairy tales. Both have their appeal, but it probably won’t be until late spring or early summer that I consider starting work on another novel.
The main goal for next year will be short story writing, something I want to get better at, start getting some sales from. 52 of them in 52 weeks. One or two or three of those may be re-writes of stuff I’ve already begun, or begun and finished, but most will be all new stories. I’ve already got roughly forty ideas in a document that can be used for new stories, and keep coming up with new ones all the time. The big question will be if they are 52 quality short stories, or just 52 short stories. But its a good goal, a worthy one, one that can’t but help me to improve my work, and I’m already looking forward to it.
Now we just need to find some television series to get us through the winter. Agents of Shield is OK, but it’ll take a break over the holidays. West World has been awesome, but that will only last maybe five or six more weeks (not sure how many they are contracted for in this first season). We tore through Black Mirror, which is a fantastic Twilightzone like British series, and finished Luke Cage a while ago. I suppose I can go back and find some old series to watch, something with a bajillion episodes to keep us occupied. Or work on those darn models lingering in my basement like a forlorn relic of my childhood, forgotten and abandoned.