Is This What Will Be, or What Might Be?
In theory, I’m currently writing a YA fantasy novel called Graveyard Girl, about fifteen-year-old Emily Macomber, who inherits a rather unpleasant psychic ability. I have 14,000 words of a planned 65-75,000 written. My wife and agent are both enthused about it, and I admit it’s probably going to be a good story, but it hasn’t really taken off yet. Partly, I think the high expectations are discouraging me.
At any rate, after almost two months of very slow progress, I decided that maybe if I had multiple projects going (as I often do), then I would at least get something done, even if it’s not whipping through the rest of Graveyard Girl. Rather than start yet another new project, though, I decided to pull out some I’d started previously. So I went looking through my “works in progress” folder, which has a few hundred projects in it in various stages of development, and pulled out some I thought were promising.
Well… that’s not quite all of the truth. I also started some new ones. My trip to San Diego for the Comic-Con spurred some ideas, and I indulged myself a little. There’s also one project that was prompted by an editor’s remark on what he was looking for.
So I’ve now written the first draft of an all-new Christmas story with the working title “Best Present Ever,” and scribbled an outline for Crosstime Charlie and the Helium Barons, and written the opening of an untitled mystery starring a guy who calls himself Bob, who only investigates murders the cops say weren’t murder. That’s the new stuff. (I’m not counting the two story ideas that never got past quick notes.)
And the old stuff — I was pleasantly surprised, looking at some of these. I think they’re pretty good, and I’m looking forward to working on them.
There’s The Dragon’s Price, a good old-fashioned fantasy, first in a series called “Signs of Power,” about Malborn Knightsbane, who was born with the magical ability to reshape his own flesh under certain circumstances. I have 16,000 words of an estimated 150,000.
There’s Tom Derringer and the Aluminum Airship, which was originally intended to be a YA steampunk novel to cash in on the trend, but which mutated into something else. I have 27,000 words of a planned 75,000.
There’s On A Field Sable, continuing the series begun in A Young Man Without Magic and Above His Proper Station. The viewpoint character isn’t Anrel Murau, though; it’s Mareet Saruis, who did not appear in the first two novels, though her father’s name was mentioned. Anrel has a small role. I have 41,000 words, a detailed outline, and extensive notes; I think it’ll run about 150,000 words.
And then there’s Ethshar — I’ve worked recently on Ishta’s Playmate and The Sorcerer’s Widow, but neither of them has gotten all that far yet.
Most of these older projects were put aside as not what the market wanted, but at this point, my attitude is, “Screw the market.” I’ll write what I please, and if no one in New York wants it, there are small presses that will, or if worse comes to worst, I can self-publish.
But I don’t know which of these, if any, I’ll actually finish. We’ll see.