Yes, I'm back. The words are flowing again.
After a painful and torturous process of writing Part 1 of The Muffler's Mission, Part 2 just flew by. I finally feel like I'm back in the groove, as they used to say when I was a lad. So here I am again to record how things panned out in excruciating detail.
Unusually, I ended up with exactly the expected number of chapters, and I didn't even change their titles. That must be a first. So Part Two (Brightgate) came in at just over 15,000 words, giving me a total of 36,000 words so far, including the first interlude.
I did go back and make one change to Part 1 (Portsea). I realised the first chapter had what was effectively a short introduction tagged at the start, so I split that into a standalone prelude, which makes the novel structure nicely symmetrical, as follows:
Prelude – Delusion
Part 1: Portsea
Interlude – Mission
Part 2: Brightgate
Interlude – Detection
Part 3: Emforth
Interlude – Confusion
Part 4: Ringwall
Interlude – Collusion
Part 5: Glaundon
Postlude – Reverberation
So what's next? I've now planned Part 3 (Emforth) in a significant amount of detail. This is the first part that's written from a first-person perspective other than Rowan Webb's. You'll have to read the novel to find out who! I'm definitely looking forward to this part – I had a wacky idea which I intend to have fun with. Similar to Part 2, this should have five chapters, as follows:
However, that's not what I'll be writing next. I'm going to forge ahead and complete the remaining three interludes. They tell a tale in their own right, and their implication will feed nicely into Part 3, so I want to make sure I get it right. I had a eureka moment when I realised exactly what had to be told in the final interlude and from whose perspective. Can't wait to get there either!
The latest attempt at a draft cover, above, is inspired by a combination of the ideas for Part 3 and the interludes. It needs work, but the inspiration is flowing nicely.
Finally, knowing in enough detail how this book will end and how the world of the Muffler's will be left, plans for a third Muffler novel are starting to coalesce. Each of the stories is standalone, but I see these three novels as forming a distinct trilogy of tales. I may return to the Muffler's later too, but that would feel thematically separate to me.
This third novel has the working title of The Muffler's Misery. I'm likely to write the separate SF story, Scouring Juventas first. Then again, all plans are subject to change, so who knows?
Right, on with the interludes. I'll be back after Part 3.