So last year, I thought I’d use a serialized novella to build up my mailing list and keep interest here on the blog. The result has been No Marigolds in the Promised Land, about how John Farno becomes the first human survivor of a Gelt attack on the Compact. I finished the novella last year and have been releasing in in lightly edited installments since mid-last year. It should wrap up in October. Eventually, my plan is to offer this first as a freebie, than as a published book. I doubted seriously that it would rate a print version because it was so short. So last week, to prepare for the massive revisions this book will need, I put the whole thing into one Word doc to print out.
Um… It’s not a novella. It’s a novel. In fact, it’s longer than The Children of Amargosa, which checks in at around 81,000 words. Wow.
I had no idea I’d written that much. I was basically riffing. Writing off the top of my head, and it shows. The calendar in the book is inconsistent (one of those heavy revisions I said were coming.) I just dashed off a little bit here and a little bit there. However…
Late last year, I realized I needed to come up with a three-novella arc to bridge the final two Amargosa novels. Not only that, but I needed to actually revise the second novel and outline the third. And my fiancee was pushing me to send Holland Bay to New York, where it now resides in Huge Publishing House’s® editorial department, most likely collecting coffee stains on the cover sheet and being ignored. Hey, I’m a realist. So if you were following the blog last year, you might remember me muttering that I had to get this damn thing finished on my usual writing update posts.
But it’s printed out. All 383 double-spaced pages. It’s receiving the tender mercies of my red pen before it gets stashed in my office to await my revising Storming Amargosa and the three novellas leading into it. (Actually, there’s a fourth, but more on that later.) I’ll do a proofreading pass to get this in shape, but then I’ll need to do the heavy rewrites on things that have become dead ends before turning over to beta readers. I haven’t decided if this will go to Clayborn Press or not. I haven’t discussed it with JJ, nor have I decided if it would make a nice freebie. If it does go over the transom, that will require yet another round of revisions, this time stricter since someone’s fronting the bill to put this out.
But to find out you wrote a novel without realizing it? That’s pretty freaky.