What next for the novels?

Long time no speak. I was up in London all last week, attending job interviews and catching up with friends. I’ve also been mulling over what to do with my novels. I now have two half (if I’m being generous) finished novels. I wasn’t sure which one to concentrate on. I’ve let my subconscious chew this question over for a couple of weeks and it’s just got back to me with an answer.

My priority is to finish a novel so I can take it to the next stage of trying to get it published. I believe the fantasy novel will be the quicker to get to this stage despite the fact it’s currently less complete than the WW1 novel. The WW1 novel is more difficult to write well, which has a lot to do with the huge amount of research required.

So, I’m going to finish City of Djinn first.

I plan to spend a bit of time thinking about the novel at a high level. What kind of novel do I want it to be? What are the key themes and story arcs? Do I have the right narrators? Are the settings original and realistic?

Then I’ll do a very quick edit of the first 95,000 words so I don’t end up with big inconsistencies when I come to write the final 50,000 words. Foe example, I want to kill off one of the characters in the section I’ve already written but if I just carry on writing they’ll still be alive which would probably cause some rip in the fabric of the time space continuum. I also got very lazy started referring to several minor characters as ???? because I couldn’t be bothered to go and look up their actual names.

Then finally I need to plan and write the last section – the last third, but in practice it might end up a bit longer than a mathematical third. There will be a fair bit of cutting required, as well as editing, afterwards but I like cutting words out. You always end up with something better.

The big thing I grapple with, one of the things keeping me awake until 4.30am on Monday morning, is how I can achieve this all quickly. By quickly I mean a few months rather than a few more years. I’m still working on that one.


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