A few people have asked if there’s another novel on the way, and there is.
As if today, 29 June 2020, I’m 47,500 words done on another crime novel, which will be 80-90,000 words when complete.
This one is set in Bristol in the 1950s and features a character I hope will fuel an entire series of books – a detective, of course.
I like him a lot. He’s not boring. He doesn’t listen to opera or drive a vintage car. He does things I don’t expect him to do – always pleasing.
I’ve been sharing chunks of it with my writers’ group for a while and so far, the reactions have been largely positive. And it can be a fairly brutal forum, so this is encouraging.
I’ll be honest, writing during the height of the coronavirus crisis wasn’t easy.
It didn’t seem important, for one thing – at least not as important as refreshing Twitter every five minutes for a fresh shot of condensed doom.
At the same time, when I did sit down to wrote, constant background anxiety made every word harder to extract.
I’m in the flow, now, though, thank God.
One job I’m not looking forward to is rewriting the whole thing in the present tense. Having devoured a few currently popular crime novels, I decided to give it a go and it was an obvious, immediate improvement.
Books set in the past always bear the risk of feeling distant; this small tweak transports the reader and makes the action feel way more vivid.
But 40,000+ words now need fixing.
I guess it’s one way to force a close edit of my own text.
At my current pace, it should be done by the end of September. Then I need to put it aside for a while, rewrite, edit, edit, edit, edit and…
Send it away with great hope and low expectations in January 2021, perhaps?