It’s 2020! And I’ve started not only a new novel but a new story arc!
As I wrapped up revisions on Storming Amargosa, a friend of mine convinced me to aim a little higher with the next arc in the Compact Universe. Instead of a trilogy wrapped by three novellas, I’m writing a ten-novel arc anchored by what I call the Suicide Trilogy.
As in Suicide, the mysterious pilot who shepherds the “meddling kids” from the Amargosa series. At the same time, Keystroke Medium, the author services company, group of podcasts, and raucous Facebook group, is sponsoring a challenge for the month of January. Participants set their own word count goals and track them in Google Sheets on a shared spreadsheet. (No, I’m not giving you the URL. Go ask them for it.) I set the goal of 45,000 words with the intention of writing at least three of the novels this year. I say three because there is a Nick Kepler in the can for Jim Winter, a follow-up, and Holland Bay is still very much in play. Plus I need to start cranking out shorts under both names.
So why start with Suicide? Really, the series shows what happens to all of the “meddling kids,” who will, for the first time in-story be called “The Children of Amargosa.” Never mind that they will be between 27 and 29 by the time the series ends. But that’s a hard sell for a new series. On the other hand, Suicide will be in all the books. So to begin with her and make her the common thread gives the series an instant hook.
I had fun outlining the untitled first novel. It involves an ape-like engineer on a new Serenity-type ship, a visit to the colony of Marilyn, man-eating plants, and someone boarding a ship by riding a torpedo into orbit. It’s early on. So far, Suicide’s shack has been blown up, and she finds Tishla hanging out at JT Austin’s cabin. (It’s her thing.)
Naturally, it was easy to being this challenge. I had a day off New Year’s Day, and Uber was light this past weekend, the post-holiday blahs that are the bane of rideshare. I spent more time than usual at Starbucks tapping away. It helped I began with about 2300 words already written, early scenes to see if this would work.
So can I do 45,000 words in a month?
Sci-fi author Rick Partlow committed to 100,000. Of course, he dictates.