Saturday, 2 July 2011

Writing: an update and some musing

Merde, as Comte Charles might say. I’d been planning to call my book either Shadow’s Whisper or Shadows Whisper (or try and use the Latin Umbrae… er, and whatever ‘Whisper’ is in Latin) but a quick bit of Amazon-searching reveals a few books with similar names.

So, I’ll have to come up with a better name. I’m pretty rubbish at naming things, but Rod Stewart did help me out with a short scene I just wrote featuring a maid, Maggie, that my rogue (who happens to be called Thaddeus) was keen on.

I’ve done two of the scenes I needed to add, but they will require some polish and perhaps extending. Continuity needs checking too. Redrafting has helped me in this regard, but I still make little mistakes now and then.

To be honest I’ve been making slower progress than expected or hoped, which could be attributed to any number of circumstantial woes but is really just down to me being a bit lax and needing a slap. On the plus side, I’ve made some good progress already today with a new scene involving a minor but enjoyable chap (Roderick, a lieutenant of the City Watch) hunting down a nefarious fellow of dubious intent. It probably helped taking a few minutes at the start to plan the rough course of the story for that little section, rather than diving straight in.

I expect the sum total of the new scenes to be around 10-20,000 words, so I’ll still need to flesh out other aspects of the book. However, even after the new scenes, I’ve got a reasonably long to-do list, which is mostly adding new bits to the story (but not requiring full-blown scenes).

I think I’ve done a good job in most regards when it comes to giving Highford its own character. The most common sport is cockfighting, lots of people smoke pipes and there’s a healthy dose of snobbery and plenty of dislike between the various races who dwell there. The religious occasions will probably ring a bell with those interested in Roman/Byzantine history. An earlier story I wrote was distinctly lacking in light relief (I was so busy being incredibly gritty I forgot that even MacBeth had a silly porter to lighten to mood after regicide), and it’s not a mistake repeated in my present story.

Still undecided regarding how to sell it. There’s the Amazon/Kindle route, but I do like the idea of giving it away free, with a donation button and chapters being released after certain (modest) sums have been raised. If I do go down that route I’d need to find out how to do it and, more importantly, whether I’m subject to income tax for that sort of thing.

Anyway, that’s how things stand. Plenty to do still, but the lion’s share is finished.


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