The Size That Fits

Two weeks have passed since the last of these, and it may be that will happen often, at least for a while, until I have a completed book to promote. It turns out that I don’t have a lot of topics ready to hand that I want to talk about on an ongoing basis, except the current state of the writing, and perhaps, just saying, “Still writing,” isn’t a compelling topic in and of itself.

However, I’m still writing. It’s not a breakneck pace, but I don’t expect any pace but a plodding one for quite a while. Still, the novel sits at 37 thousand words, which is almost the length of October, yet I don’t believe it is much more than a quarter of the way done.

Speaking of the length, I do want to mention, briefly, that I intend for this kind of length (160-180 thousand words) to be my new normal. If you look at the books I wrote in the years before the drought, my longest book, Fragments reached only 120k words, which was about twice as long as Moony and Minders and the unreleased fantasy novel that will now be getting a rewrite. But even Fragments did not quite match the kind of books I really love, and prefer to read, in terms of length and depth.

There just isn’t room in a 60k word book like Minders or Moony to tell the other side of the story, or to fit in scenes that provide more of the flavor of the place. You can, of course, write that more flavorful thing as three separate books, but I feel every book needs to conclude “something”, even if it’s not the whole story, so breaking a 180k word book into 60k chunks so you can publish once a month gives the story a rhythm that might not be there if you weren’t doing that.

And I don’t prefer that rhythm. It doesn’t make any of those 60k word books bad books, by any means. They’re just not my favorite.

And that’s what I decided to do during the dark days of the drought. I won’t be chasing trends, or trying to drop a new book every month like some people are able to do. I will be writing what I love, in the way that I can write it, to whatever length best fits it. Which means it’ll probably take four to six months to write a book. We’ll find out together, won’t we?

What I’m Reading

I just finished Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay, which is honestly, a book I should have read long ago. I was put off by the setting, years ago, but after having finished it, finally, I think it’s a fantastic book

I also finished reading Becoming Superman by J. Michael Straczynski. It’s a fantastic auto-biography of the man behind Babylon 5, as well as a bunch of other well known properties. The first half is brutal, though.

My next book conquest, I think, will be The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie. I previously read Best Served Cold and enjoyed it very much, and it’s high time I read some of his other work.