Thursday, November 26, 2015

Shiny Onyx

I'm proud to announce that I've completed the first draft of my 8th novel, The Onyx Cluster.  It comes in at a shade under 80,000 words, and it surprised me throughout.  I started thinking about this book more than a decade ago when I had a dream about an apocalyptic wasteland where the sun never shone.  It got me to thinking, "What would cause such a thing, and what horrors would await within."

Over time, The idea evolved into something resembling a horror/thriller.  However, where it really evolved was when I began writing it, for it turned from what I described above into more of a mystery/thriller to get the main character to figure out he was being played the whole time.  Halfway through the book, I introduced a character that was initially designed to be a vehicle for the main character, Dr. John Forsythe, to fight the bad guys leading the malevolent force known as The Onyx Cluster.  However, as the plot evolved, making that vehicle much more prominent intrigued me, so the story evolved further.

Those who aren't writers are now reading this and muttering about what an artsy-fartsy asshole I sound like.  "Just write the damn story!" they'll shout.  But fellow writers know that our stories often surprise us.  I get how arrogant this sounds, but I don't create the story so much as I put characters into certain situations and see where they lead me.  Almost any writer would back me up that we're usually just watching the story we see in our minds and transcribing it for others.

I'll put The Onyx Cluster down for a while, likely more than a year.  I'll need to look at it with fresh eyes to see what needs to be fleshed out and what needs to be discarded.  Not touching a novel for a long time after completion almost lets you read it as a newcomer, so spotting flaws and ways to improve it become markedly better.

Following this, I need to go back into Schism and expand it a little so that the story has more meat on the bones.  That will be my December project.  Afterwards, I've got an idea for another post-apocalyptic novel, but this one is slightly more heretical.  Then it'll be time to compile my short story collection.  By the end of June, I hope to have ten books ready to start publishing(with some editing still required for later works, of course).  All I can say is that I can't wait for May of 2017.


  1. Just write the damn story. As if it was ever that easy!