The book stands at 116,171 words to be very precise. I originally thought it would be 120,000 words in total but I don't think I can wrap it up that quickly. I still have the final confrontation with the bad guy to write plus the set up for the series. I also think I need a new opening chapter so maybe we're looking at 130,000 ish by the end. I'm trying very hard to get it done this week either way.
It's actually amazing to think the book is nearly finished when I can still remember writing the very first words back in August and 120,000 seemed so far away.
I'm looking forward to having a bit of a break while my agent reads it. 5am starts 7 days a week have certainly taken its toll on me and i can't wait to lie in until at least 7am for a week or two!
Of course, then I'll have my agent's comments to address and my own edit thoughts...
As someone once said "Being a writer is like having homework for the rest of your life."
So for ages I've been struggling with a title for my book. Titles mean a lot obviously but for me, they help me tie down the soul of the book. CRY HAVOC (my first book) was originally called UNDER A BLOOD RED SKY, then it became THE BLACK DOGS before I settled on CRY HAVOC. Not only did it feel right and sound cool, it brought everything into focus. SWITCH/BLADE was always SWITCH/BLADE - it came from the Kasabian song, Switchblade Smiles, that inspired the sci-fi cyberpunk visions in my head.
But this book I've been struggling until last night when I read a quote by Nietzsche that was just perfect, summing up the theme of the book and just sounding damn cool. I'm now a very happy man.
I've also passed the 100,000 word mark and on target to finish by the end of the month. Yeah!
I was going through some old computer files and found a very old drawing of Nathaniel Rane (called Ran back then) from 2001. There was a (bad) comic strip that went with it but that's gone into the mists of time.
As is the custom at this time of year, I thought I'd write a best of list for all the great books I'd read this year but immediately came a bit stuck when thinking of what books to actually put on it. I couldn't think of any! Maybe it's my age and the old memory finally going but more probably its because I've read so few stand out books. I managed to come up with a top 5 purely because they were the ones that had stayed in my mind so here in no particular order are my favs from last year:
Prince Of Fools by Mark Lawrence. This is a very different book to his previous trilogy - often very funny, its a tale of a craven coward doing his best to avoid his destiny. Lawrence's prose is beautiful, poetic and this is the start of a grand new adventure. (Side note: Lawrence claims he writes one draft and doesn't know what's going to happen from one page to another. If that's the case, I'm rather jealous of him!).
I'm a huge fan of Myke Cole's work and he just keeps getting better with each book he writes. This is the conclusion to his Shadow Ops trilogy and a slam bang way to end the series. It's Lord Of The Rings meets The Avengers. I said in my review on Fantasy-Faction.com ‘BREACH ZONE is the work of an author confidently knocking it out of the park, juggling the fate of the world with real characters with personal agendas that you actually care about. This isn’t just some superhero slugfest with all-American heroes trading blows with evil forces – at its heart it’s a love story of two people pulled apart by forces beyond their control, both trying to do the right thing no matter what the personal cost to themselves in the most horrible of circumstances. And again it’s a testament to Cole’s ability that the intimate moments are just as compelling as the man against monster encounters, if not more so… Exciting and emotional, a page-turner in every sense of the world.’
This is the fourth book in the Expanse series and, to be honest, I could have put any of them on this list as I read all of them in one go. Big, beautiful space opera with characters you really care about. Can't wait to see the coming TV series.
Endsinger by Jay Kristoff is another concluding part of a trilogy and again goes out with a bang. Nobody is safe. Bodies fall left, right and centre. Samurais with chainsaw katanas, telekinetic, griffin riding warriors and everything in between. Its like an explosion in a genre factory but, by god, it works.
Swords of Good Men is a bit of a late entry as I originally started reading at the beginning of the year and gave up on it very quickly but, over Christmas while I was ill, I gave it another go. It jumps about a little too much for my liking from POV to POV and not a lot really happens until the end but when it does, axes fall, swords swing and blood spills. A great Viking book. I immediately ordered the sequel the moment I finished it.