Works in Progress Update
It’s a busy time as I try to clear my writing decks. The follow-up to The Kill Chain, a contemporary cybercrime thriller called The Kill Switch, has been completed to the stage it now requires editing. I’m hoping this will be picked up later this year, so for now it’s on hold. My science fiction novella, EVA, is now available for download. A dystopian crime thriller set in a future Edinburgh is currently being edited and will be published by the summer. This is called The Canongate Containment and features an old town detective and a government conspiracy.
Work has resumed on a science fiction fantasy series called The Clockmaker Conspiracy. The break from it has done me good. I can’t recall being so excited to work on something and I’m making better progress on it than I could have imagined. I’ve been working through the feedback I’ve received on it, and it has been necessary to alter the dynamics between the two central characters as the relationship was moving too fast. The idea is to have them develop over several books. It’s been an odd feeling going back in and changing the storyline in subtle ways to achieve this, but it’s going well.
I’ve also had to introduce another plotline on top of what is a fairly complex story, to ensure that my main character has no choice but to continue working through events as they occur. It was felt the story needed something else to commit the character to the path chosen for him. I believe I’ve done that successfully and have one major scene still to write where the realisation dawns there is no turning back. This new plot introduces new questions to answer and has involved writing some further backstory and notes to explain why what is happening to him is believable in the context of the story. It’s relevant to how the series finishes, which at present is seeing a rough draft of book five emerging. It’s a funny thing, but this new plot feels like it was always there, I just hadn’t noticed it. What I’m writing makes perfect sense. I suspect the distance of time away from this work has helped formulate the idea in my mind. Subconsciously, I’ve been thinking about it and piecing it together, knowing there was more to do and preparing for the time when I would write it all out. I’m finding it easy to write. It’s not a chore at the moment, and I feel it’s coming together effortlessly. It’s a good feeling when this happens, as a good deal of the time, writing can be an effort and requires me to sit down and do the work. Right now, I’m finding it easy, so it’s all good. I’m sure there will be days when it will not be, and that’s fine. I’ve had plenty of bad writing days and have techniques for working through them. This involves either persevering that day to write something, however little, work on the notes around the work in progress, pick up something else I have to finish, or do some research, not necessarily on the work I’m struggling with that day. It’s all part of the writing process and I have done this for long enough now not to become disheartened on those days.
A lot to put out the door this year. A reader got in touch last week wanting to know when I was going to write more in The Copernicus Coercion series. That was what they were looking forward to. I suspect this is going to be pushed back towards the end of the year. I have a draft of a second book, but it needs a lot of work. I’m not convinced about it, and worry I’m repeating myself a bit. I plan to start a third book in the Kill series around August as that is for me more of a priority. There are outlines of two new novellas on my hard disk along with an outline of a novel, complete with character biographies, concerning rogue A.I. and another dealing with time travel. I have a lot to finish up. Canongate and Clockmaker need to go out this year. It’s complicated, as I have an idea for a second Canongate book and Clockmaker has several in the pipeline. It may appear like I simply stumble around, jumping from project to project with not clear idea of what I will work on next and yes I have days like that. I am making progress though. I’ve had two novels and a novella published over the last year plus a reboot of my short stories and I intend to have another three novels out over the next year. By then my writing decks may not be any clearer, but I will have gained further experience and hopefully better focus across all of my works in progress.