A quick update on my writing projects.
Sympathy for the Devil
I have a full second draft of the novel, with a proper ending. The first draft was finished within three months (I think taking May-August 2013), and it’s taken another 7 months to properly re-write that initial draft. The first draft was about 70,000 words long, and the second draft is 96,000 words.
In terms of re-writing, I deleted the final 30,000 words of draft one and re-wrote from scratch, taking it into a completely different direction. Of the remaining 40,000 words from the original draft, at least 25,000 words were wholly re-written.
I think this is a good thing. Some initial drafts are strong and need tinkering. This initial draft was strong on the central character (Lucy) and a few key scenes, but had little direction or cohesiveness. I’ve had to put a huge amount of thought and research into giving story a logical structure, supporting characters with depth and multiple and rising tensions that make sense and keep complicating the story in an understandable way.
I think this full second draft of Sympathy for the Devil has an open and accessible style, which is what I was hoping for. (I contrast this with Planetfall, which was quite densely written for a scifi crowd who would already understand the kind of world put forward.)
I’m now resting Sympathy for a few weeks so that I can go back in a few weeks and make a few final tweaks. Afterwards, I’ll be sending it to a professional editor – and all suggestions on good editors are gratefully received.
I mentioned Planetfall, and there’s an update on this too.
Book one, All Fall Down, has now shifted over 500 copies through physical book sales and digital downloads. Reviews keep popping up on the Amazon page, which is satisfying. I’d really like to see more reviews on there – there are seven now. Thirty would be amazing.
A plea – if you’ve read the book, please leave an honest review (whether you loved or loathed it, I don’t mind) on its Amazon page.
Book 2, Children of Fall, is still on hold while I’ve been writing Sympathy for the Devil. I’m hoping to be back with it by September 2014.
In the meantime, while I rest Sympathy, I am writing a short story set in the Planetfall universe. I’m hoping to release it on Kindle and other formats towards the end of May 2014. More updates as and when.
Other writing projects
Robocop fan fiction. A couple of years ago I started writing a Robocop fan fiction novella. I have now abandoned this.
Backpackers 2. I wrote half an opening chapter for a sequel to Backpackers. I’ve no idea where that might go. Maybe I’ll add the occasional thousand words here and there. Cath’s a hard character to shake off, and the format – short stories linked together by a single character – is still attractive to me.
Job Centre sitcom script. I was really pleased with the spec script I wrote in 2012. This is now shelved due to lack of time.
Future writing projects
I’ve agreed to co-write a script, probably for a short stage play but potentially a pilot script for a series. The subject will be on mental health, and work will hopefully start around November or December 2014.