After a nice long break, I’m back at it. I finished The Plainsrunner, my 2018 novel, did all the prep work, published it and completed recording the audiobook before Christmas. Then I took a few weeks off, ignoring the pathetic whimpering of my fountain pens as they stood unwanted in their cup on my desk. Now, at last, I’ve filled one of those pens and begun writing my 2019 novel, tentatively titled The Prime.
It felt good to sit on my exercise ball at my desk this morning, with the familiar weight of a pen in my hand. I was slightly concerned about this year’s goal of a thousand words per sitting. Last year I was able to do 750 words without any problems, but who knows where the limit might be? I needn’t have worried, as it turns out. I got a thousand words this morning, and it didn’t feel as if I was over-extending myself. It felt as if I should be able to reach that level on most mornings. The worst of it was the time it took. Writing for that long each morning is going to push back my other activities accordingly, so I’m going to have to get used to getting everything done that much later.
The Sun is shining here, with a mild temperature and gentle breezes. If I were one for taking omens, then I would be feeling pretty good about the coming year, and about the novel I’ll be writing during it. I’m not one for taking omens, as it happens, but I’m still feeling pretty good.
Peter Claesz – Public Domain – Metropolitan Museum – tap for large original
I’ve finally begun writing the next book. Working title: The Plainsrunner. I’ve finished the first chapter and chapter two is underway today. It feels good to be back writing after a couple of months of taking care of other chores. I had to publish The Francesians and record the audiobook. Then I had to take some time off. Meanwhile, the story was steeping in my brain and that seems to have made it practically ready-to-write.
I don’t know what picture to put with this post. I don’t have a cover, or even much in the way of cover ideas, so I can’t use that. I can’t think of anything in the story that could be represented by photos or other pictures available to me. I can’t just take the cover image I’ve been using for the Green Comet trilogy and give it a different color, as I did for those three books. The trilogy is over and this is a different story. Maybe I’ll just throw something up there and think about engaging an artist to create a cover for this book.
So, what to throw up there …
Anyway, I’ve decided to try to write a shorter book this time. The last three were all well over 100,000 words — Green Comet was 134,000 — and I’d like to offer readers something a little less daunting in this one. I’ve set myself a tentative limit of 80,000 words. Still fairly substantial, but a lot smaller than I’m used to. We’ll see how I do within these new constraints. I’ve also set myself a new daily goal for words written. The last one was a little higher than the previous two, and this one is higher again. We’ll see how it affects the quality of my output. I’m accustomed to doing a lot of editing before I do any writing, so with more writing each day I might end up having to do more editing afterwards. If it works out, I might be able to raise it again for the next book.
The Sun is shining here today after a long spell of wet, cloudy weather. I put out the birdfeeder yesterday and the chikadees are enjoying it today. And my fountain pens are smiling at me again, after being lonely for so long.