2018 has proven to be a very busy year so far and I am not complaining. Not only have I managed to get ‘Mesozoic’ published but I have also completed a review of my earlier book, ‘Eugneica’, all 160,000 words of it! There were some grammar and spelling mistakes in the manuscript that were annoying me simply because I knew that they were there. A reader sent me some observations that they had made while reading the book, which I thought was very considerate of them. Some people like to include observations of spelling mistakes for their reviews so that all future prospective readers can read about them too. Most writers like me don’t have editors and cannot always afford to spend the money to hire a professional to do the job. Of course, if you have a publishing contract this comes as part of the deal. Perhaps one day then. I am planning on doing a re-launch of ‘Eugneica’, which was another reason for the review. I still have faith in this book. I still enjoy reading it myself. I hope that I am not tempting fate but I have not yet had a bad review, but then again I have not had many people actually pick it up to read either. That is something that I am hoping to change.
Next, I am going to finish my fantasy novel, ‘The Queen of the Mountain’. It is about 70% there already but I was unhappy with the main character, one Risdun Hak. He had no clear definition in my opinion. He also lacked a motivational force. I took some time out to consider how to put this right and ended up completing ‘Mesozoic’ instead. However, putting the fantasy novel on the back-burner, so to speak, seems to have worked. Risdun Hak now has more depth to him and I have a better understanding of his character. He has developed a more sympathetic side. I hope to begin work on rewriting his character in the extant manuscript almost immediately.
On another tack, a reader asked me if I would ever be interested in writing a murder mystery? The answer was yes. I like watching these kinds of programmes on television and I have read quite a few books on the subject as well. I have a proviso though. I like the stories where the reader gets all of the facts so that they can solve the mystery at the same time as the detective. I really do not like stories where the investigator is privy to information that is not revealed to the reader until the moment of unveiling the killer, Sherlock Holmes springs to mind. Because of this I have waited until I either had a particular mystery in mind or the time to devise one.
Inspiration is a funny thing. I had this character knocking about my jotter. He’s kind of a fish out of water in that he is not comfortable in the 21st century. I did not know really what to do with him but when I was looking through my jotter for ideas of what to write after the fantasy novel I had a wonderful creative moment. In an hour of frenetic activity I devised a murder, a motive, a prime suspect, and a detective to investigate the case. It all came together very quickly, like most good ideas do. I am not going to rush into this one, however. I want the plot to be airtight. I want the mystery to be revealed layer by layer and I am going to insist of my writing alter-ego that the reader will get access to all the clues that the detective does at the same time as he does. There will be no white rabbits being pulled out of hats like Agatha Christie so often does. This means that I will have to write a very detailed plan of the book, which will take time in itself. My wife loves reading murder mysteries and she is going to be my proof-reader in respect of the mystery itself. I don’t have a title for the book as yet but the main character, the detective, is the guy from my jotter and he’s beginning to develop in my head already!
So, that’s my writing year mapped out then!