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Wild Speculations
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Somehow, I'm averaging about 1,000 words a day of new writing so far this year. (Of course, I'm doing so in my usual messed-up fashion -- some days I write 5,000 words, and sometimes I go five days in a row without writing a line.) Last night I didn't do a thing all night, except read, watch TV with Heather, and play World of Warcraft. Then, around midnight, I decided to get started on revising the first 50 pages of the Bridge novel before going to bed, reasoning that whatever I did this week, I wouldn't have to do this weekend! I figured I'd do eight or ten pages. Instead, I got sucked into my own book, and worked over the first three chapters (which is actually 53 pages, but that's close enough for jazz) quite thoroughly. Cleaned up the prose, seeded in some foreshadowing, did the necessary character adjustments, etc. I'm quite happy with it. So my first 50 pages are done, as good as they're going to get for the workshop anyway, and I can concentrate on writing new words this weekend. Whoo!

The new stuff I had to write last night, to fill in gaps, set stuff up, etc.? Worked out to almost exactly a thousand new words. I'm very happy doing a thousand words a day. If I can keep this up, it will be a great year. I don't have any big editing jobs looming ahead of me (since I don't have a book coming out until February 2007, and that's a story collection, which is easier to proofread, etc. than a novel anyway). I'm hoping to finish the Bridge novel in the spring (within the next month, actually), write a slew of short stories in the summer, and start a new book in the final third of the year.

The question is, which book should I write next?

I got options. I got ideas. I just don't got decisions. And while I don't have to make any decisions about what book to write next for a while, it's fun to think about.

So here are the novels I'm pondering:

  1. A new Marla Mason book, which I will write if I sell Blood Engines and a sequel seems welcome. I already have a lot of notes, and even a lot of scenes written, for a book called Ferocious Dreamers, about a plague of dreams, a war among sorcerers, and the true origins of Marla's psychically-parasitic sidekick Rondeau. This might be the most likely book.

  2. A short novel with teen protagonists that would probably need to be marketed as YA, possibly related to my story "The Witch's Bicycle". The ideas I have for this one are a bit nebulous, but intriguing enough to merit further thought, and rich enough to support a book, I think. The notion of writing a 60,000 word book is very appealing, but that might just be novel-fatigue talking.

  3. A Mr. Li novel, which I've been thinking about writing forever. The thing is, I could fairly easily do the novel as a series of standalone novelettes that would assemble into a pretty bitchin' fix-up (or story suite, if I'm feeling classy). I can't decide which approach I prefer. I realized while writing my new Mr. Li story, "Wishlist", that it could easily be part of a novel. So the other possibility would be to write the novel and then carve off sections of it to sell as stories.

  4. An epic fantasy with underpinnings that are Lovecraftian rather than Tolkienesque. This one's got images and some protagonists and, um, that's about it. But I could develop it into something concrete in the next few months.

  5. A novel featuring characters from my story "Cup and Table" (which most of you haven't read, but it's a ragtag secret-agent secret-society misfit superhero apocalyptic epic contemporary fantasy story).

  6. Some crazy novel I haven't even had an idea for yet.


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