New novel complete!

(This post was originally created for and posted on the Modern Evil News (& Podcast) feed.)

Monday night I finished typing up the first draft of my new novel. (I’m still working on a name – what do you think of “Forget What You Can’t Remember”?) I wrote the entire thing on a manual typewriter, an Olivetti TROPICAL, which is to say ‘on paper, with ink.’ In between other projects and errands in the last two days, I’ve read the entire thing from start to finish. Out loud. Mostly to myself and to the cat. But it sounds pretty good, and I think it’s self-consistent, well-resolved, and perhaps yet another novel without an easy answer to the question “What’s it about?”

Briefly: It’s a followon to Lost and Not Found, though not a direct sequel. There are roughly two characters in common between the two books, and the main character from Lost and Not Found does not appear at all in this new one; it has an entirely new cast of characters and settings. It begins with the event that changed the world at the end of Lost and Not Found, and with zombies, but soon the story follows the characters to the flying city of Skythia while delving into the ways these various characters respond to both what has happened to them and the strange environment they now find themselves in. Going back to their old ways, moving on with their lives, lashing out against a system and a world they don’t understand, falling in love, or simply going a bit mad in a mad, mad world – the several interconnected characters’ journeys are really the heart of the story.

I’m about to start re-typing the whole thing into my computer. I haven’t decided how and when to first make it available, but I know for sure that it’ll be available in all the formats I have to offer: Paperback, eBook, and audiobook. I’m also planning on writing a companion book in November (for NaNoWriMo, actually), a collection of short stories which will tell stories somewhat perpendicular to the main thread of this novel. That is, where the novel follows closely the lives of its ensemble cast, especially re: the main progression of events, the short stories will help to build out the world the story takes place in, adding richness in the periphery of that story by telling stories that intersect with it. So, for example, in one chapter of the novel a superhero interrupts a mysterious, murderous heist at a Kwytzwyk Temple, and it changes his outlook on justice and ethics – and I want to write the story of the thieves, their previous exploits, and to give a lot more detail on the specifics of the Kwytzwyk religious practices and beliefs; all things that weren’t relevant to the main story of the novel, but which is a narrative with details worth exploring. (Playing around with a title for that gives me things like “More To Forget” and “More Memories For Forgetting”…)

At least it’s writing…

I think I’m writing here largely because I was having trouble at my typewriter. You see, I’m writing another novel, and I’m doing the first draft on one of my typewriters. This novel happens to take place in the same world as Lost and Not Found, chronologically after most of the events of that book, though not actually a sequel as such. It’s been a few days since I’ve written anything – I was working on getting started on the audiobook version of Lost and Not Found, then on composing a musical theme for same most of the week ((If you want to hear what I have so far, email me or leave a comment and I’ll send you a link)) – and I set down and tried to pick up where I left off. Apparently something had interrupted me in the middle of a chapter, in the middle of a paragraph. I’ve been trying to write chapters for this book for a variety of reasons -people seem to like and/or expect chapters, they help create a structure for moving between or tying together different elements of the story, it makes it easier to stop and pick up again at another time if there’s a chapter break, because I don’t have to match the flow of what came before quite as closely- but for whatever reason (now lost to me) I was half-way through this chapter. I set down a while ago and tried to just start going.

I read the preceding pages. I looked at the sentence. My hands sprang into motion, the keys of the typewriter clacking away noisily as the words formed on the page, and then … well, then the sentence started giving me trouble. It got longer and longer and, as it grew, it became less and less coherent. Where did this sentence think it was going? In the time I can usually pour out a couple of pages all I had managed was to mire myself in the first sentence I’d attempted. I XX’d out several words, cut the sentence short and -relatively- understandable, and stepped away from the typewriter. I finished my research on Klein bottles (one of the things that managed inexplicably to wedge its way into the sentence (which you will now be able to look for in the finished book, to find the troubled phrase)) and then came here.

To blog. Because I’ve been meaning to write something here for a while now, but keep either having something better to do (sleep, work on my novel, sleep, et cetera) or not enough to say.

Although that isn’t really the case, is it? I always have something to say. And I’m working on a lot of projects right now, have a lot of things coming up, going away, et cetera. So what is it? One long post, or a lot of little posts? I think a lot of little posts. I’m making a list right now of subjects to cover, so I don’t forget them.