26th January, 2011

Straight into the action today, because…

The Wasp in the Lotus is done! Well, the first draft anyway (aka draft 0, the vomit draft, etc). The maximum wordcount allowed for this project is 20,000 words, and my draft came in at 21,220. This is not as bad as I thought it would be – at one point it was looking like 25-30,000 words, but I wisely decided to excise a sequence. This is a novella, after all, not a novel, and sometimes you just have to hold back. I changed my mind about a lot of things several times over the course of the draft, so the rewrite is likely to be fairly extensive. Certainly there won’t be a problem in getting it within the specified limits.

However, something rather interesting and unexpected happened at the end of the story – during the final showdown between heroine and villain, the villain revealed some information that suggested the events of the novella were just a small part of a much larger diabolical plan. While The Wasp and the Lotus reaches what I hope is a satisfying and logical conclusion, it’s really only the beginning of the story. They’ve got an awful lot of work ahead of them, battling evil right across the world (well, I did say the diabolical plan was somewhere on the large side).

As a result, I’ve now got the set-up for an ongoing series of stories featuring the two main characters, set in an entirely new steampunk/clockpunk universe. I’ve already got one steampunk universe/series on the boil (which begins in The Devil in Chains, and then continues into my first novel, Dark Heart), and here’s a second! Importantly, despite similarities in genre, this new one (which is more clockpunk than steampunk) is completely and totally different.

Which means another index card on the magic corkboard, currently entitled Zappa and the Princess. At the moment I have it pegged as a novel, but we’ll see.

Project: The Wasp in the Lotus (steampunk/clockpunk novella)
Words today: 1,393
Words total: 21,220/20,000 (100+%)
Total words for 2011: 45,701

Death’s Disciples was released yesterday in the US and Canada, and I’d recommend picking up a copy pronto pronto. North American readers also get a cool new cover, just for them! Might have to snag a copy myself…

Books: some pages of Death’s Disciples by J. Robert King.
Comics: On hold until February.