It’s a fine line between order and avoidence

The original plan was to start writing GUARDIANS OF PARADISE as soon as my editor said she was happy with CONSORTS OF HEAVEN. Several reasons: firstly, CONSORTS is that tricky second novel and until I know whether it’s made the grade I feel uncomfortable moving on to another major project; secondly, I needed more envelope-scribbling time (or, as more professional writers call it, planning) for GUARDIANS before I embarked on the actual word-smithing; and thirdly, I had other writing stuff that I’d been neglecting in the final push to get CONSORTS in on time.

Regarding point three above, I can report that I’ve sent out some short stories that had been gathering virtual dust (and might have sold one – watch this space). I’ve also written a new short story called ‘Dreaming Towers, Unseen Mansions’, not set in the ‘Hidden Empire’ universe, and based on a stolen dream. It’s currently a rough first draft awaiting ritual deconstruction by the OSB writing group. I’ve also revisited EPIPHANY NIGHT, the (as yet unsold) novel I originally wrote for NaNoWriMo in 2006. This story is part of my timeline; in fact it’s right at the start of it, being set in the middle of this century. It still needs work, but I wanted to lick the beginning into shape ready for the Milford SF Writers Workshop in September.

So, many worthy tasks have been completed – but still no word from the overworked editor. She’s having a well-deserved holiday this week, which may or may not be ruined by her promise to finish reading CONSORTS during it.

Having run out of real work, I have, today, tidied the garret. I now have less, and smaller, piles of paper around me when I work and, more importantly, I know roughly what’s in every pile (there is a system, really there is). I was amused to find the original badly-drawn-in-pencil map of Khesh City scribbled on the back of a computer listing – the sort with the holes down the side. That City’s been in my head far too long. I did wonder in passing if the map could fetch a quid or two on Ebay, but it’s not exactly a work of art.

And now I can put it off no longer. I need to get started on the next book, not least because I need something to send out to my other writing group, Tripod, by the end of the week. Though it may be old-fashioned, conventional even, I reckon I’ll start at the beginning, by typing up the sketchy prologue hand-written at Wolverhampton station a couple of weeks ago. 

Wish me luck. I’m going in.

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