nuA heatwave again. Sigh. Getting up at stupid o’clock to take Bessi up the hill, sweating out half my bodyweight, then working in the boiling afternoon. Windows wide open and it’s still roasting. That was last week.

And now it’s not! Mad thunder and lightning overnight, real KRAKABOOM stuff. Power switched on and off. Bessi didn’t notice a thing. Look at her:

A mysterious black dog

That’s a thunder shirt, which is designed to make a dog feeling like it’s being hugged. I guess it’s working?

Last Week

Well, a full week’s work after a few odd ones!

First. DIE ON MARS, my sci-fi thing. I managed to go back and finish the tightening-up outline. That doesn’t read like it makes any sense, does it? What do I mean by a tightening-up outline? Well, it’s an 80k novel that needs to be a bit longer and have a better story. To make sure the story works before I attack it, I’ve re-outlined it. I’ve had to think of some ways to flesh it out, mainly expanding the storyline but also adding in new stuff. Weirdly, all of the material from the previous draft fits. All of it. It’ll just be sliced and diced differently, with a section at the end happening to a different character concurrently to the main stuff. There are about 10-12 extra chapters to add, nothing too big or challenging, but a lot changing from one viewpoint character to another, so it’ll have three of them.

(I’m using the term “viewpoint” from now on instead of POV – Point of View – because I’ve been dead against TLAs. Three Letter Acronyms. They’re reductive and exclusionary – if someone has to ask what one means, they’re not included. Often they don’t ask. There are always snappier words to use that are much more Ronseal. So, Viewpoint it is. The scene is from the viewpoint of x character.)

Initially, I’d written the book as a single viewpoint, like one of my police procedural books. Trouble is, it isn’t a mystery and some of the most critical plot points happened to other characters but are viewed through the eyes of the hero, Ethan Thompson, so were a bit … indirect and, the worst thing a book can be, boring. Adding in the additional characters’ viewpoints fleshes out a lot of the story and adds more tension in place. One of them is on Earth, so I’m bringing alive some of the world-building which was a bit flat and expositional – this way I’ll be able to show the world rather than talk about it.

Anyway. That’s off and waiting to be edited, not that I’ll work on it anytime soon.

Next, I managed to finalise the outline for Fenchurch 9, which is ready to start writing. I’ve taken the poor old bugger into a really dark place with this one. I know. I know. I know. But I can’t stop it, can’t help myself. These books are all about him going through stuff. This is a topical one and I’m not aware of anyone else putting a cop through this particular thing, so I hope it’ll be a good one and fresh. And there’s a lot of other stuff that’s topical too – my big challenge with this book will be to make sure I explain certain topics very clearly. After reading this, hopefully you’ll understand what a DAO or an NFT is.

(See what I mean about TLAs being exclusionary?)

Anyway. The book’s just sitting there, ready to write.

Sitting on my Mac. Waiting for me.

To start writing it.

Next week

Reader, I started writing the book.

It’ll take me a few weeks back-to-back of doing it. Even took me a couple of days to get into my stride, probably something to do with the weather, but I’m on it. Back on the writing horse. Six of 60 chapters done. I’m trying to edit as I go, like with THE TURNING OF OUR BONES, which will give me a better sense of continuity. Hopefully this one will hang together!

So that’s going to be me for the next few weeks. Making Fenchurch’s life as painful as possible.

See you next week. Take care of yourselves.



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