World Belt Update

Hello friends and the occasional relative! (yes, I may use this as a tag line from now on). I have been asked to give you all an update on my progress in the wonderful, if grim, World Belt.

The Slaves and The Djinn (a slightly more upbeat title than The Killer and The Dead I think you’ll agree, though it isn’t exactly The Rainbow and The Unicorn, which is my planned bloodshed-free fairy tale picture book for kindergarteners) progresses. It will be slightly shorter again than TKATD, clocking in at 31 chapters and probably 80-100K words. Maybe less, to be honest, as at 27k words in, I’m already well into chapter 14. However, my primary PC recently died, which was a bit of a setback. I’m buying a new one, and my last back up saved to my laptop is from the start of chapter 12. Yes, oops, and I’m a bad writer for not backing up at the end of each session, and for not backing up to the cloud. An AI once ate my lunch there, so I don’t leave my soul to be stolen online, except what I share here with you, my dear chums and pals. And on FB, but I only leave rare traces there. Must do better.

In any event, my PC guy is confident order and data will be restored this week, in time for my shiny new PC (and GIGANTIC new monitor) to arrive so I can finally play Gloomhaven online and not have it freeze during the tutorial because my current machine is so woefully underpowered.

Of course, a new PC and more game distractions is not the plan. Let’s face it I’ll just go back to Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition. I’m halfway through Shadows of Amn (again) and have like 5 characters levelled up to level 6 on the OG game. I was going to go solo all the way with my first guy, but decided to expand to a group again as I’m pretty sure I’ll reach the XP cap by the end of Throne of Bhaal anyway at the rate I’m going. Haven’t played in months, honest. But I do love that game, so soothing. Until combats go horribly wrong.

Anyway, I am writing every weekend, sometimes through the week, (work can leave me zombified, and I already get up stupidly early for that alone, so getting up extra extra early to write is not an option I want to exercise at this time) and I’m editing and reworking each preceding chapter or two before I go on to write the next section a la Hemingway. By the way I totally recommend getting your hands on a copy of With Hemingway: A Year in Key West and Cuba by Arnold Samuelson, (maybe find a library copy as the online prices are a bit silly as it is out of print) as EH’s advice on writing and life are sprinkled through the book, as are fantastic stories and insights of a young man who spent time with him, so it lacks pretension, or academic bloviation – the attitudes are of their time however, so be prepared for that. So while progress may be slower, the idea is I do not get stuck in editing hell this time around. Largely because I have consciously decided to abandon the empty pursuit of perfectionism, and Just Get the Damn Book Out™.  So at a chapter a week I’m thinking I’ll be finished this draft by May 27th at the latest, hopefully sooner. And it will be in good editorial shape. Fingers crossed.

I can tell already there will be some re-balancing of content required, some of which will be done as I progress and get a feel for where it will make most sense, but in general the detailed outline I created is serving me well, while still allowing for fruitful additions and digressions. Amusingly, I found that I totally set something up in the outline, then forgot to include its payoff, which became very obvious after writing the set up. I laughed, then made a note to add a short scene later to resolve the action required in what I had written. Not earth-shattering, more a matter of detail. I would explain it further, but that would be a spoiler.

Here I am setting myself a deadline in public and everything! How grown up! Anyway, my plan is to have the book pretty ship-shape by May 27th, but there will be beta reading and feedback, and adjustments from there. I’m just not going to get lost in the minutiae like I did with TKATD. (Note the date of that blog versus the date of TKATD’s publication. Sigh.) I spent years making sure I didn’t use certain words too close to each other on a page, across chapters etc. etc., unless I wanted to. I went slightly around the bend on that and a few (hahaha!) other issues. This time I’m going to let those things ride, and see if anyone but me notices. You know it will kill me, but I have other books to write, and I don’t want them done for me by an AI (I’m not letting that go), at least not yet. When mortality’s heavy hand rests harder on my shoulder I may well have second thoughts, and be a total hypocrite. Except I won’t, I’ll just be sad those stories will go unwritten.

So: less editing obsession this time, more The Slaves and The Djinn being released later this year. I’m excited to share this book with you, it is another facet of the World Belt, and a new narrative approach for me. (Because every book has to be an experiment, apparently. In more than one thing at a time, of course, so I can be confounded by variables later.)

Until next time, ciao ciao ciao!


One thought on “World Belt Update

  1. F-ing great (not sure what censorship is like here) to hear. I’m psyched to see the next book…. god, not sure what I really wanted to say instead of “book”…. gonna go with “installment”…. frigging sounds so sterile, but it’s closer. Oh, wait, I’m Roddy, lol.

    I really like the idea yo put forth (yes, the u is missing on purpose in a show of support) to push the ideas and “attempt” to move away from your anal perfection. Content over presentation, just like a “girl”… those quotes are supposed to mean that it’s substitutable… apply to whatever thing.

    Go Roddy!…. we’re waiting. ,oP (Roddy knows where the one-eyed wink comes from).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s