Back in March, I wrote a post called ‘Searching for an ending’ about the struggles I was having with my latest novel ‘A Spider in the Eye, a Hannibal Smyth Adventure. Since then I have spent a lot of time doing just that, searching for the right ending and not quite knowing where it was hiding.
In the course of that search, a couple things happened. The first of them is ‘A Scar Of Avarice’ a novella which is currently sat with my proofreaders because I discovered there was a whole section I needed to take out of ‘Spider’ but did not want to go to waste because while it did not need to be in the novel, and if anything it was part of the problem I had with the flow of the novel, I still really liked the little story that was being told in those chapters and built a novella out of them set in both Hannibal Smyths twisted little steam punk universe , and the Passing Place . So, in essence, I have ended up with two books, not one, out of this whole enterprise.
The second thing the happened is having finally sorted out the ending I managed in the course of doing so to completely change several aspects of the greater plot, because one twit led to another, as these things have a want to do, and a character who I thought was one thing turned out, as much to my surprise as any readers will have, to be something else entirely. While the final climactic events for the last several chapters changed the plot of the sequel which I had nicely mapped out. I have always intended this to be the first of three books set in Hannibal’s world. A world of steam and airships, that is built on the foundations of 19th-century sci-fi but brought forward to a modern setting in a world where Queen Victoria never died and the British Empire has never seen the sunset upon it. Yet here I am with my vague plottings for the second and third novels just got completely twisted in on themselves, and all the better for it I may add.
Nothing does more to change a story that the writing of it, but there is also no better feeling than finding that twist you never saw coming. You can plan your story all you wish, but the moment you start to write it, characters will do things you don’t expect. It isn’t till you write about a character that you really get under their skin so it should come as no surprise. Yet they never cease to surprise me, and in the closing chapters of this novel, they threw me more curveballs than I had any right to expect.
But all that’s on one side, last night I finally wrote THE END… and yes there is the whole redrafting, editing, re-editing, first proofing et all to go through yet. But beyond that moment when you type the first word of a novel all full of expectation and desire, nothing beats the moment when you type in those last two words and know you have created something. Even if you’re not 100% sure what it is…
This is not in anyway the cover the novel will have, but still, its sort of a cover reveal …
‘A Scar of Avarice’ will be out in the next couple of months, and hopefully, now I have a full draft ‘A Spider in the Eye‘ will follow before the year is out.