After a long break from writing, 2017 saw me get back on the swivel chair at the desk and take some tentative taps at the keyboard as I eased my head back into writing. I won’t lie, the enthusiasm was hard to come by. Not writers block as such, but a big dose of ‘what’s the point’. Sales have flat-lined, and I was returning to write the next run of ‘The Darkwood Mysteries’ short stories, which, when I did have regular sales, was never a strong seller. But, they were the ones I have had the most fun writing, and being short they seemed a good place to start this writing thing again. I was kind to myself and finished a project first, but then came the blank page under the opening of the next project, ‘The Darkwood Mysteries (13): The Ghosts of the Black Museum’…
I’m glad to say that November saw me figuratively typing ‘The End’ under that story. 50 pages. Boom. Done. It felt so good to have a project completed from start to finish. It was a lot slower than I would have liked, but I am only allowing one day for writing now, as I really need to keep a balance to my personal time. Trying out the 7 point story structure was a challenge, but I actually came to find it really useful. Having a solid structure to build my story within helped me feel confident in weaving all the plot elements into one story after not having written for such a long time. I was reminded how much scope the world and the characters give me, and how much fun it can be to spend time in the company of the main characters, Darkwood and Hobbs.
This tale, along with ‘The Darkwood Mysteries (18): The Disaster Man’, will be shut away for a while now to give me some distance from them, in the hope that when I return to them later in 2018 I will be able to spot the typos and dodgy writing that might be hiding within my familiarity with what I have just produced. I’m hoping to find some beta readers in 2018 to help me out with that… (Massive hint to anyone who is reading this and considers themselves as having an eye for spelling, grammar, and an opinion on character and story)
So, now it’s time to move onto the next project. There are three more tales for the second run of ‘The Darkwood Mysteries’ left to write, so I feel pretty close. I have ‘The Darkwood Mysteries (15): The Silver Sultan’, which needs a lot of planning out as I have a collection of plot points I want to piece together in that, but not much else; ‘The Darkwood Mysteries (16): The Other Darkwood’, which has a bare skeleton plot to build from; and ‘The Darkwood Mysteries (17): The Slaves of the Underworld’, which has been planned out in my head since I finished the first run. It was going to be part of the first run, but there are some big things which happen in that so I decided to hold back on it to give the characters and the world some breathing room.
December has been me thinking about plots like some dastardly Bond villain, but writing has to start with head-writing first, and that’s where I have been. I also needed to read up on the Ottoman Empire for ‘The Silver Sultan’. If you’re knowledgeable on Victorian Ottoman politics then hit me up! However, December was December and there has been lots of games, family time, and mince pies and mince pies and mince pies. There have been a lot of pies. But, I’m bolstered by getting two projects done this year, and now the second-run of ‘The Darkwood Mysteries’ feels like it’s finally going to get done and happen. Hopefully seeing their release start in 2018. I believe the word I’m looking for in response is ‘Woohoo!’. Yes, that’s the word.