A heads-up. This is one of my traditional blog posts during the writing of a novel where I outline how things are going compared to what I expected. There are no spoilers other than chapter titles, but it's probably mainly of interest to me until you've read the novel. It's proved to be a habit I can't break, and I don't want to jinx the novel by stopping! If you're not interested in this level of detail of my wiring process, feel free to skip to the last couple of paragraphs! There's a bit of Chris Parsons news waiting there.
The image above is another one of the draft covers I've been playing with to aid my inspiration. The final cover definitely won't be this one – for one thing, the rails are in way too good a condition – but it did give me some ideas for when we get to Emforth. You'll have already have seen this cover a while back if you're one of the lucky people who subscribe to my semi-regular (OK, irregular) newsletter. If you haven't signed up, go do it!
As I mentioned in my last blog post, progress on The Muffler's Mission has been unusually slow for me, largely due to lockdown intersecting with an unplanned, but not entirely unexpected, personal upheaval. Now things have settled down. I've finally managed to build up some momentum and have now finished part one of the novel, Portsea, coming in at just over 20,000 words. I expect to reduce that somewhat in the second draft, but it's a decent enough start.
Part one ended up consisting of six chapters, as follows:
I've now finalised the overall novel structure, at least for the first draft, comprising five parts with a short interlude between each and a postlude to wrap things up, as follows:
Part 1: Anticipation
Interlude – Mission
Part 2: Brightgate
Interlude – Detection
Part 3: Emforth
Interlude – Confusion
Part 4: Ringwall
Interlude – Collusion
Part 5: Glaundon
Postlude – Reverberation
The interludes are the first parts of the two Muffler's novels that aren't from Rowan's Webb's first-person perspective, although Part 3 will be different too, and I'm not entirely sure how I will tell Parts 4 and 5 yet either. I'll be attacking the first of those, Mission, as soon as I finish this blog post. After that, Part 2 looms, which I've already planned in detail, comprising five chapters, as follows:
That doesn't sound too ominous, does it?
Right, if you've been skipping the boring stuff, you can start reading again here.
Now I have all my novels available in ebook form through multiple outlets and no longer exclusive to Amazon, I'm starting to fully understand the pros and cons. I'm happy to give my readers the choice of outlets, especially for those with an understandable aversion to Amazon, but my primary sales continue to be through the Bezos Empire. Not being exclusive to Amazon does limit my options there a little, partly in promotion, but especially being able to make my novels available through Kindle Unlimited.
So I'm going to try an experiment soon. I'm going to withdraw my novel In Memory of Chris Parsons from sale for a three-month spell everywhere but Amazon, enrol it in KDP Select for that period, which will allow it to be read via the Kindle Unlimited program, and give me a few promotional possibilities. I'll see how that goes.
If it goes well, when the three month period completes, I'll do the same for the Tamboli Sequence novels, and when The Muffler's Mission is ready, I'll do the same for that and The Muffler's Ministry. Always good to mix things up. I'll provide an update when I'm ready to go ahead with Chris Parsons.