Monday, 10 May 2010

Some novel thoughts

I've decided to make a few small changes to my comic fantasy novel Court of Dreams before I decide what to do with it next. Particularly, I feel that the starting location has to change. I set it in Hull because of the whole "write what you know" thing, but the end result is that at least one person has commented that they weren't sure if the MC was supposed to be me (he's not. He's clearly not. It's just the location that makes it seem that way. If a character a bit like me sneaks in anywhere, it's in the form of a couple of lines from a particularly geeky friend of the MC's who never intends leaving university.) I think a more general location should solve the issue, particularly since the starting location is mostly a jumping-off point.

On the ghostwriting front, I'm juggling two YA novels at the moment, which seems to be working out fine time wise. Though when the rest of the outlines come in from the client I might not say that quite so quickly. Thankfully, they're quite different, so getting some separation between the two should be doable.

I've recently read both Jim Butcher's Changes and Kim Harrison's Black Witch Sanction. They're probably my favourite urban fantasy authors (no, I'm not my own favourite UF author. That would be sad and egotistical), mostly because of the way they mix action, settings that are a little bit different, and a healthy dose of humour in the right places.

Finally, Witch Hunt, the sequel to my urban fantasy novel Searching, has been copy edited prior to publication. I don't have a release date for it yet, but I'm sure one will be along, so watch this space.


Tara said...

A lot of my friends ask me which character I am in my writing. Um, none, yet a little bit of all I suppose. After all, it is me who writes it. But, I don't think people truly see themselves enough to really write themselves as they are.

Sangu said...

Wow, ghostwriting sounds tricky, and novels especially so! How the heck do you stay within the confines of what someone else wants, instead of just taking the story where it leads you and where you feel like going?

stu said...

Tara- I suppose the other common answer to that is all of them, because every character draws on little bits of us.

Sangu- It is a bit tricky sometimes, and I have to remind myself that even if I think it's badly plotted rubbish, I occasionally just have to shut up and write what I'm told.

Theresa Milstein said...

I'm always afraid to write two novels at the same time because I'll confuse voices.

I get asked if I'm my character too. Pieces of me are always in them, but they're not me. Not even close.

Location is so much easier if I know it, so I always choose places I know.

Donna Hole said...

I've wanted to be a ghostwriter for ages. How do you get started in it? I think it would be fun to write for someone else.

Some readers have also asked if my MC is me, since the novel is set in my home town and is contemporary. I thought about changing the location, but I started out with the notion that if it only gets read regionally, I'd be just as happy for this first publishing.

I don't kid myself that I'm best seller quality author, but I'd like to think if I did decide to self publish, or if only a smaller, local house is interested, the readers would be more likely to purchase it because of the local setting.

See, I can think a little ahead for marketing strategy:)


stu said...

Theresa- I find I do better these days with made up places, ones that ought to exist but quite conveniently don't.

Donna- The place to start is probably on a freelancing site like or, though you should be aware that only a few of the jobs there have anything to do with fiction, and competition for those jobs can be fierce. In theory, the next step from there is to attract more work through word of mouth/a website.