Blog No. 311
Good news everyone! The first draft of The Neon Heart is done. It’s the second book in my Novella series, but it’s pushing the outer boundaries at 43 000 words. Considering The Thinking Machine was 25 500, that’s a big jump. There is still a mountain of work to do with editing. I tend to be a hatchet-man when it comes to second and third drafts, so I’m going to allow myself to go a bit wild. I’m not overly concerned about the big word count differences. The story dictated the length, and I did want to make Neon Heart bigger. I do plan on getting it under the 40 000 mark, though. I’m not comfortable with such a large disparity, especially if the next one ends up being shorter again. (I have some ideas for novella number three, but I’m not going to start it until the first draft of the novel is done).
Initially, the novella series was intended to not only allow me to have a new book each year (for all those events I’ve been fortunate enough to attend over the last three years) but to also find an audience with the folks who bought No Light Tomorrow to support me and ended up enjoying the shorter book. Many folks who are friends or acquaintances mentioned that they wished they read more and that the short book was perfect for them. I thought a short, punchy novella could give those people something they would enjoy if they were to continue to buy my books. The series could also (potentially) build an audience excited for my next release locally and at those regular events. I’ve managed to sell about a hundred-and-twenty copies of Thinking Machine since April, but not many to that initial (proposed) audience. They wern’t interested. With that in mind, I changed gears a bit and bumped up the scope for Neon Heart (which is why I expected it to be a bit larger). It would give me room to explore the world and characters a bit more and to entice that comicon audience that bought the first one. I still hope to find more local love, but that’s always an uphill battle (so I’ve heard).
For now, I’m putting Neon Heart to the side for a few weeks. I want to distance myself and spend a lot more time on the edits. I plan on releasing it in May or June (the series was intended as a summer thing) but that depends on what events fall on what dates next year. The Thinking Machine launched at Shock Stock and I hope to do the same for Neon Heart. The attendees have shown an interest in my books so far, but without something new, they won’t have anything to buy. Since I have no idea when that will be, I’m going to keep plugging away on edits, taking the time to do several drafts and get more beta readers than last time, but watching the clock. For now, I’m starting the novel. I hope to have a quicker turnaround time for the first draft, considering the potential length of the thing. I’ll try to balance that with weeks taken off to do the edits. We’ll see how that works. If I’m lucky, I’ll have a smooth writing process with really focused edits.
If I’m lucky. I’m not going to give too much of the novel away for now (I haven’t started writing it yet). I will say, it’s an invasion story and is intended to be funny. I’ll call it the Invasion Novel or something on here, but it has a working title. It’s more complex a story than I’ve attempted before, so I’ve done some planning (though admittedly not a lot). I may find myself writing and having to step back to consolidate things, but I’ll start a story bible as I go and hopefully that will keep things from getting jumbled or confused. I may even do regular updates for it here to keep myself accountable. (Maybe). For now, the next event (and last scheduled of the year, so far) is the ChiSeries Windsor Best of the Best of the Best fundraiser. I really need people to show up and take part in this one. I bumped a musician at Phog to extend the time. You can sign up on the facebook event page or just send me an email. Hope to see you there!