Monday, November 10, 2014

What Now?

Now that the ‘Donzalo’s Destiny’ saga is finished, it is time to tackle new writing projects (not to mention non-writing ones). Perhaps I’ll finally finish some illustrations for one of the children’s books.

I have started in on a new novel, which may or not lead to obsessive writing. Very different from the fantasy books I just completed, both in content and in style. I went with a method of short scenes and varied viewpoints in the Donzalo books whereas I intend to be quite mainstream in the new one, with a straight-forward first-person narrative.

The story should be pretty much mainstream as well. Not exactly a thriller nor a mystery but veering in that direction — have to keep the readers’ interest somehow as I sneak in those oh-so-important observations on the human condition and that kind of stuff. :) I am not working from outline and notes this time, either. Well, I do have notes, of course, but I’m still doing more of a make-it-up-as-I-go thing. That means my first draft will tend to be more, well, like a first draft.

Anyway, I just finished a good draft of the second chapter with a dead body, so I’ll have to see where that leads! One thing I do always have in my notes is a list of phrases and exchanges that I want to incorporate into the narrative at some point. I really do work from words to plot more than the other way around. I also have a completed later chapter which I originally wrote as a short story quite some time back (under the title ‘Surf’). That was sort of impetus for this intended novel.

It is also time to get into my previously published books, do revisions and edits, and get new editions up, including mobi (Kindle) format ebooks for Amazon. The children’s books are probably OK as are, but I definitely need to get back into the novels and poetry. THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE would be a good place to start, followed by the Donzalo books. Once the latter are revised, I intend to put out all four in a single volume. Print only, including, maybe, a hardcover edition. If one wishes ebook versions, they will have to be purchased separately.

Having mentioned the MIDDLE Young Adult novel, I will say that I might yet tackle a sequel to that book. But my interest is elsewhere for now, and the book has not sold well anyway. I look on it as my ‘practice’ novel, the one where I learned a great deal of craft. Not that I don’t consider it a reasonably successful attempt. Eventually, a sequel (sequels, more likely) to DONZALO should also appear. There is quite a lot to explore yet in that world and group of characters (and their descendants). Not to mention, the varied political and philosophical bits I threw in — though I’m not sure I can top the nihilistic, depressed sorcerer I used as the primary antagonist in the novels!

And, having now mentioned nihilism and depression, I return to the novel-in-progress, tentatively titled SHAPER. Depression, world-weariness, suicide, are going to be major concerns here. Yeah, it sounds dark and maybe unappealing. But it’s also going to be about surfing and love and sunshiny beaches.

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On a completely unrelated note, my niece and acclaimed Americana artist Mean Mary James will be performing a couple shows here in the Florida Panhandle in the next few days, Thursday night at Topsail Hill State Park and Sunday afternoon (3 PM) at Roberts Hall in Lynn Haven. If you have a chance, get out and see her.

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