My work on the novel-to-come is enjoyable and intense these days. Blogging is a great social media strategy, and I love being “out here” with you in words on the Web, but when I feel well enough to write, devotion to fiction takes precedence over blog musings and miscellanea. To keep you up-to-date, though, here’s a new fiction progress report.
After completing and publishing The Darkwater Liar’s Account, I find starting a new story to be both thrilling, terrifying and sometimes ridiculous. The new story is about half-written, in terms of my target word count, with most, if not all, characters attending. I would describe this new work, at this point, as either a gangly teenager or a wild, rangy beast. Maybe both.
If you’ve ever written anything that’s a few hundred pages long, you may grasp the difficulty in keeping control and tracking details while writing a novel. Little things, like characters’ age progressions, physical and personality details and histories are only part of this. Timelines are key, but spinning characters is less like a line on paper, and more like a mobile in space; sometimes the strings break and that character or event drops or flies out of range, throwing off the balance.
Another image that comes to mind as I confabulate and vitalize is an act I enjoyed on the old Ed Sullivan variety show –Erich Brenn, the plate spinner. Cue the sound of shattering of glass…
Enough musings on chaos and order. Here are a few broad strokes about this new story.
The setting is again Darkwater Creek, Nebraska, the fictional location for The Darkwater Liar’s Account, although these characters also wander a bit. While that novel covered the period from roughly 1920-1968, this one begins in 1904 and ends in 1935. Rather than focusing on one character’s point of view, this one casts a wider net, embracing three primary main characters whom I hope you will love. While the first novel swept broadly across Europe and into America, encompassing WWII, this one is more regional and intimate, heavily engaged with Great Plains and American history. It’s not really a prequel, as it involves new characters. There are trains and storms, Depression, Prohibition and drought. Good times.
Readers may find this one less psychologically dark than the first. I reserve the right to do a little Alfred Hitchcock or Stephen King number on my readers, though, should I decide you’ve become complacent and could benefit from such treatment.
Perhaps I’ve said enough for today.
Thanks again for reading. Each day, I write to you.