It's been almost three months since I last put finger to keyboard on a new project, but finally I'm ready for my next project, and this is going to be a big one. I can blame George R.R. Martin for this, but I'm launching into epic sword and sorcery for this one – I have the desire to write something with big scope, something with multiple swirling plot-lines, epic battles, and most of all on a large scale. I've been feeling towards this one for a while now, and almost started the Mercian series – which this is not, and which doesn't feel quite ready yet – twice while I was feeling towards it, but just a week ago I had the key breakthrough.
I read 'Four Thousand Years Ago', by Geoffrey Bibby. The Bronze Age has always fascinated me, and that truly brought it alive – and then with a little more reading, everything started to just fall into place, and the plots that had been swirling around my head settled down into a form that I wanted to get started on. I've sketched out a few maps, made a few notes, worked out my naming patterns, and watched a few documentaries – and I'm just about ready to launch into it. Bronze Age fantasy.
I have to admit that I'm a little nervous. This will be my fourth book intended for publication, but will be at least twice as long as anything I have previously written. My last book had three POV characters, this one will have six. My longest work to date has been 74,000 words, this one is at a minimum 140,000, and probably longer. No wonder I'm nervous, but I've got a lot of story to pack into this, and I've been doing my homework – so I hope that I'm going to be equal to the task.
What I am going to do is more with this blog; I tend to blog more when I'm writing in any case, but this time I'm going to do a day-by-day play-by-play of how things are going – my progress, the books I've been reading, how things are generally going. I'm targeting doing this in 24 writing days at an average of six thousand words a day, and working on the presumption of ten days a fortnight – so five weeks, with an extra 'day off' if I feel like I need it. With a little luck, this one will be out before Christmas. I'm pulling out all the stops with this one – I'll be commissioning a proper map of the setting, possibly more than one – as it would feel wrong to have a fantasy epic without a map – and may even explore a paperback. Again, I'll be going over this whole process on the blog, the process of writing 'Dagger of the Serpent' from first word to hitting 'publish'...