So I’ve written a book.  My working title is “Black as Knight”.  It’s basically Lies of Locke Lamora meets Batman Year One.
It was a book that wasn’t supposed to happen.  It was a book to test new processes I put in place.  It was a book I wrote as I clawed myself back from disaster following leggedon last year.
It’s also the longest book I’ve ever written coming in at around 154,000 words (and I tend to under-write in a first draft)
But… it’s also been the easiest book to write and the most fun despite being written in the first person present (which, trust me, really screws with your head when you start).

OK, so there’s loads I don’t like about it currently.  I think the voice is uneven  (I want it to be slightly uneven but I think this goes too far) and I never put enough description in a first draft (and that I do is always a bit generic).  Some characters are underdeveloped, and I need to build on the worldbuilding to give everything some depth. There may even be a couple of chapters that need a total rewrite.  And of course, the entire thing needs a serious, serious edit (or two).
But it’s a first draft.  It’s supposed to be like that.  And as first drafts go, I am super pleased about it. In fact, I’m really, really excited about it.  In fact, I have to forcibly calm myself down when talking about it to some people.  I’m sure it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but for me it all came together on the page to create one of those few books that had it been written by someone else, I would have wished I could have written.
As for the new process, it works.  I mean, it really works.   I was worried this level of planning would ruin the story for me but in fact it’s made it more fun to write.  There’s part of me that feels a little unhappy about the time it took (the book’s taken four months to write and I wanted it done by Xmas) but I need to keep reminding myself that it’s the length of two full-size novels and in a difficult voice.  And keep in mind that my first book took 13 years to write.  It’s something I can improve upon going forwards, and in the last couple of weeks, I’m made further adjustments which massively increased the wordcount each day
Now I’ve got a week or two of short story writing to do whilst I do some plot work on Thieving King before launching into the next draft of that.  I’m so looking forward to using the new process with Thieving King and improving upon it as I write.   I can’t wait and I think Thieving King will be so much better for it as the story really ramps up.   I hope to get to the edits of Black as Knight in the early summer.
Hopefully by the end of the year, I’ll be back on track with not one but two finished books.