Remember when I wrote a little while ago that I thought it was time I wrote something in novel length? Well, that time is upon me. I’ve gone very quiet so far as the internet goes over the last few weeks, while I figure out in my head what I’m going to be doing. I’m not going to be writing this novel for attempted professional publication. It’s a well established fact that first attempts at writing novels are almost entirely made out of suckium – the same element that most airport thrillers are made from – so I’m just going to throw it at the internet under a Creative Commons license to see if any of it sticks. The main reasons for doing this, are that I lack test readers, like feedback and genuinely want to see if I have what it takes to write long form fiction. If I think I have the chops for it (i.e. I actually finish it and universal opinion isn’t of the “Your story sucks monkey balls” variety), future attempts at novel length works will be heading off to agents and/or publishing houses.

Now, what kind of story will I be telling? It’ll be a Swords & Sorcery, pulp style, adventure novel with a secondary world setting and multiple viewpoints. I’m doing this because I’ve got a worrying tendency to write angsty protagonists and I fear that sticking with the horror genre I feel comfortable in will ensure I fall into this trap again. There’ll probably be dark magic and cosmic horrors in the story as well, after all Swords & Sorcery virtually runs on this trope, but it won’t be of the “Mortal man was not meant to look upon such things” and the hero goes insane, type of endings. At least, I don’t think it will; stories always change between the planning stage and the actual writing.

I won’t be putting myself under any kind of self enforced deadline on this. I’ve got a life away from the keyboard and sometimes that takes priority – especially when all of my writing is of the I’m-not-getting-paid-for-this variety – but, all things being equal, it should end up completed at some unspecified point in 2011. I’m a “wrestle the words onto the page” kind of writer, not a “words flow freely from my lightning quick blister-fingers” kind of writer. That’s just how I roll.

P.S. Expect a few “edits to add” while I get one or two other things sorted out.

Edit to Add: I’m going to be keeping a diary of the actual writing process as I go along. I won’t be keeping it here, though. I’ve decided, wisely or not, to keep the writing diary in separate place to Stuff & Nonsense, which I now intend to use as a repository for things I’ve actually thought out first. Completed thoughts, rants, finished stories and chapters, reviews of things I find interesting (or really rubbish), links to things you might enjoy (like this!) and so on. Stuff & Nonsense is where the finished stuff goes, the newly formed “I Slap Raptors” (did you hear that faint rumbling noise? Somewhere, a volcano erupted as Mother Nature sought to punctuate such an awesome journal name appropriately) over on Livejournal is where I do the writerly pontificating about process and so on. That stuff is only of interest other writerly types and there’s no sense clogging up Stuff & Nonsense with it.

3 responses to “Announcement!

  1. I wondered where you’d vanished to (again)!

    Speaking as someone who’s brain just about melted from writing just eight chapters, I salute your courage! Are you going to be posting individual chapters as you complete them, or are you gonna wait till you’ve finished the whole thing?

  2. I’m going to be posting them as I write them (subject to a quick spit and polish first). There’s no point in being coy about it, I want people to read my stuff and react to it, whether that reaction is positive or negative.

    I also think it will be pretty cool to see a record of a novel being written, since I’m going to post the original drafts after minor tweaks and spell checks, then go through the whole thing afterwards and do a second draft, and maybe even a third (I know! Me doing multiple drafts instead of changing things on the fly), before posting it again as a single PDF. First tentative rough draft, through to pretty much finished article seems like a cool, if somewhat horrifying and daunting, thing to do.

    I’ll be keeping a journal of the actual writing process as I go along, as well. Which reminds me, there’s an edit to go into the main body of the post…

  3. Cool, that’ll be very interesting to see. And occasionally point and laugh at! 😉 From my perspective as a fellow writer (sometimes), the journal looks to be particularly enlightening. It’s always a good idea to study another man’s technique and see what you can learn from it… hold on, I think I’m veering off-topic here. Seriously, this looks like a very cool project. I wish you the best of Bombay luck, duck!

    Having said that, the journal title bugs me. This is just a personal niggle, but I really dislike the word “raptor”. A raptor is a bird of prey, they’re called dromaeosaurids!

    Unless, you’re talking about birds of prey, in which case I have no objection.

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