I thought I'd give a quick update on my forthcoming novels. In particular, I didn't want you to think I've forgotten about The Mufflers series while I'm working on Scouring Juventas.
First, how are things going on Scouring Juventas, you ask? Well, I've made a good start on the first draft. As I mentioned in my Writing Process blog post, I'm expecting there to be four main parts to the story, which are interspersed with chapters called Duties – effectively the Prelude, Interludes and Postlude. I decided to write these first.
I'm glad I did. I've now completed their first draft, and they've told me a few things about the novel that I hadn't thought about before, which sets me in good stead to crack on with the main story. These Duties are from the perspective of a character called Bekomdef, who has a unique outlook on Juventas, to put it mildly. The Duties ended up being called Scouring, Intervention, Observation, Escalation and Surveillance.
My son happens to be visiting for the rest of this week, so I didn't want to start part one before then, but had a couple of days spare. I decided to put these to good use by firming up my plans for the next novel in the world of The Mufflers, called The Muffler's Misery.
That was another good decision. I started having a lot of loose ends dangling after the first two novels, a strong idea of how it was going to end, along with several important character arcs to complete, but no clear idea how to join the bits together. It lacked a narrative thread that would allow me to tell an interesting story.
As these things often do, it came to me in a flash of inspiration at about 3 a.m. I knew that it would have a slightly episodic nature, and I also knew what the main story would be. I've spent the last couple of days putting flesh on the bone, and I'm pretty excited by the way it fitted together. It even gives the perfect justification for the end I was heading towards.
So I've made copious notes, I've worked out the structure for the story, and I've even knocked together a first cover, which you can see above, for no reason other than it gives me a picture to put in this blog post.
As well as a short Prelude and an Epilogue (but no interludes), it will have five parts, called The King, The Agent, The Father, The Council, and The Muffler. As with The Muffler's Mission, it will be told from both Rowan and Tia's perspective (I was originally thinking of making it Tia only, but the story went in a different direction).
There will be creatures called Daemons too, but definitely nothing like The Dark Materials. In fact, I was annoyed when I realised I'd used the same name, although it makes perfect sense for my story and comes from a completely different meaning of the word. So I'm sticking with it.
That definitely brings this phase of The Mufflers novels to a close, with Ministry, Mission and Misery forming a complete trilogy. That doesn't mean I won't revisit the world later, but I have no immediate plans right now.