I picked up a bug late last week and while I was a little under the weather while campaigning in Bolton West on Saturday, the illness didn’t properly hit me until yesterday. As a consequence, I’ve let my writing slip and spent a lot of my time laid up in bed, reading The Long War by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. It’s a very good book but I can’t help feeling I would have rather been up and about, doing work rather that laying around reading.
Still, it seems to have paid off because although I’m still not “top form”, as my Mother would say, I’m certainly more able to get things done. I’ve been working on my novel, Forged in Blood, and editing videos for Jennifer’s YouTube channel. I’m looking forward to getting the comics back up and running tomorrow, now it seems I’m more able to sit at a desk for a while without feeling like I’m going to pass out from the exhaustion.
The book is coming along really well. I’m now past the 40,000 word mark, which is great. There’s no end in sight just yet (I have a feeling this book is going to end up weighing in at around 90,000 words when it’s all done and dusted) but it’s going well nevertheless. The plot is hanging together well and I’m loving the interactions between the characters.
If there’s one thing I’ve found from working on this novel, it is that the Special Defence team run by Seth Baron and introduced in the first Gretl Lune novel, Unholy Crusade, have a tendency to overwhelm a story. Partly it’s because there are so many of them compared to Gretl, who is mostly a character who works best in solitary conditions or with a very small team, and partly it’s because their own interactions with one-another are enough to hang a story on by themselves.
Whatever it is, it’s become clear that I’m going to have to change my plans to have Gretl work with SD in the future stories and instead spin Special Defence off into their own series of stories. They are too good a set of characters to just dump because they overwhelm the protagonist and I can’t dump her in favour of them because I have so many stories I still want to tell with her. Running them in their own series (which I’ve decided to call The Ministry) seems like the only good solution here.
That’s not to say they can’t team up in the future if the story requires it. I’ve already established that they are both part of the AlternEarth universe I’m creating so there’s always that.
But that’s planning for another time. Right now I have a word count to hit. It’s 50,000 words to win and I have five days left to hit it. Right now I’m a tad under 42,000 words and I’m hoping to shave a little more off that before I head to bed tonight. I’m nearing the finishing line and I intend to cross it. Time to get back to typing!