Sunday, 24 February 2013

Creating a believable world

This is my first blog post for several weeks, so I thought I'd post an update on what I'm up to.
It's been a tumultuous time filled with car crashes (everyone is fine), redundancy notices (I hope we'll be fine!) and the best month of sales I've ever had, quickly followed by business as usual.
I made roughly the same amount in January as I have in the previous seven months (in the U.S.) thanks to Just One Day, which seems to have bled into other books and increased their sales too. Clearly a short story is a good way of getting people engaged (business talk, hopefully I won't have to use words in such a way in my next job).
With regards to my writing, my emotions have been up and down as usual. There have been quite a few nice reviews in January, one or two bad (that of course I focussed on and lamented over), and a realisation that I didn't need to hurry my Cuts of Flesh series quite as much as I'd anticipated. I finished the first draft of Kraken around the middle of January and I'm letting it stew before I go back to it, as my head was a mess when I finished it and I have no doubt the plot has more holes than the doomed submarine in the story. I'll go back to it in a few weeks, give it a polish and release it, then have a bit of a break before I tackle Gashadokuro.
I decided to write a couple more short stories to try and emulate Just One Day's minor success. The first one, The Uncanny Mr. Bones, works quite well I think but it's an old style of story, as I tried to push for the unsettling creepiness of the uncanny over gore and explicit violence. It did a few when I had it on sale but not much since so it may be an acquired taste, or not work as well as I think it does. Words was written off the back of a dream in two days, and I tried with this one to write in a different narrative style to the usual. It again deals with the uncanny and I'll see how it goes when I put it on sale for free on March the 1st (yep, giving away a sale date!) I hope it works, but as I was writing it I felt very keenly my lack of narrative analysis skills. Was what I was writing pretentious, or did it work (as I'd hoped) as an obvious overflowering to tie in with the story premise? I have absolutely no idea. I feel like I'm driving at night with no headlights and just muddling my way through.
It was after I released Words that I thought F+#* IT! I'll write something I want to write for myself, rather than trying to be a writer (which admittedly I don't do that well at anyway, as I'm hardly pimping my books as if they are amazing which is what most indie and self published writers seem to do).
So I started Fangrok. The name is from the beginnings of a story I began to write about fifteen years ago about an exiled monarch with a face turning to stone. I've got rid of everything except the name, which now belongs to....
Well, that's for me to know!
I'm writing this one on the sly as I have little to no confidence left. Part of me just wants to give up writing and start reading again. I haven't read a book since August, splitting all of my time between family and writing. I miss books.
Anyway, I'm burbling. I'm going to focus on this for a good few months and only give out details about it that I think are definitely holding their own. Heal The Sick took me two months but I think this will take a lot longer, and maybe it should. I'll try and make it polished, or else end up with a pile of junk. Whichever I choose, there will be no sexy vampires.