Thursday, February 5, 2015
Writing, writing, writing . . .
Today's seen a new personal best in my writing output: 8,593 words. I'm still staggered when I look at that number. I'm exhausted, but it feels good.
That level of output is helped by my irregular sleeping patterns. Thanks to a disabling spinal injury I suffered in 2004, I'm unable to sleep for more than a few hours at a time before my spine and left leg 'freeze' and become very painful. That wakes me up, no matter how much I want to sleep, and they won't ease off if I stay in bed; so I get up and work. I rest after lunch for a couple of hours, however long my body will give me, then work again. That's how, since 3 a.m. this morning, I've been able to write so many words - that, and the fact that I'm busy with a novel I've been working on for well over a year. I'm covering familiar territory.
Maxwell Volume 4, 'Stand Against The Storm', has given me all sorts of problems. I've massively revised the plot, location and highlights no less than five times. It's almost finished at last, thank the Lord! It's been a topsy-turvy journey. You see, this novel will complete the cycle of my hero, Steve Maxwell, as a junior officer. He's now on the cusp of becoming a senior officer, which will see him gain command responsibilities and a whole new focus. However, he also has to learn more about some of the pitfalls of military service, including officers - even senior commanders - who aren't always as focused on operational reality as they should be. Today we call them "Chairborne Commandos" or "Powerpoint Rangers". (In my days in uniform we had some other terms as well, less suitable for a family-oriented blog like this one! An acronym with which some of you may be familiar is 'REMF'. No, I'm not going to translate it here!) This book will see Steve having to come to terms with such officers, even in a combat zone, and reinforce his determination to avoid becoming like them. It's a transition point for his career, and I've struggled to make that transition, that conflict, clear. I hope I've got it right at last.
Feedback from initial beta readers has been favorable, and the work I'm doing now is to improve the novel in the light of their feedback. I'm going to bounce it off a couple of other beta readers next week for a quick impression from them. If they find nothing major out of place, publication date (for the e-book version at least) will be the following week; if a few final tweaks are necessary, it may slip until the week after that. Rest assured I want to get this one out as much as some of you want to read it!
I have a hectic year of writing planned. The Laredo Trilogy, Volume 2, 'Forge A New Blade', is scheduled for April/May; Maxwell 5, as yet untitled, for August/September; and Laredo 3, 'Knife To The Hilt', for November/December. Here's hoping I can keep working at this intensity!
Thanks for your patience in waiting so long for Maxwell 4. I hope you'll find it was worth the wait.