I realise I haven’t blogged much about my new almost-secret project recently, determined to post little more than the occasional tweet on the outline progress. As I’ve already mentioned, I really don’t want to go into too much detail at this stage — given that a number of projects have, as is often quite normal for me, lost their attraction/impetus of late — but I do want to share a little of where I am, writing-wise, with you.
The outline is very nearly complete and… well, let’s just say “so far so good” and leave it at that. With this one — As Morning Shows the Day — I’ve very deliberately returned to familiar themes and ways of working. I felt that over the past six months or so I’d lost my way a little, trying too many different things in a rather desperate attempt at finding the next big thing. Predictably, it didn’t work, and so I took a considered look at my “back catalogue” of unpublished material.
I’ve been writing for a long time and it was interesting to revisit those characters and places, the themes I played with “back then” — and the overwhelming impression I got was that there was a number of pretty good ideas that, because I was still very rough around the edges as a writer, were applied with varying degrees of success. One story in particular — no, two, now that I think about it, The Golden Kingdom of Because and Closing Doors, but we’ll deal with the latter another time! — really made me sit up and take notice.
The Golden Kingdom of Because had a lot about it that I really liked. It was a story of childhood, and promise, of lies and family secrets, and it was fascinating to see my characters still there. (I should add at this point that I didn’t actually look at the written material itself; I didn’t need to — it was all still very much alive, filed away in memory in all the detail I needed.) The early part of this novel was pretty strong but I knew the minute I started thinking about it that it needed restructuring and the ending… well, it needed an ending. As it stood, it didn’t really have one. I could have got the original novel down from the loft (with a little help!), and started a rewrite — but that, I realised, wasn’t what I wanted to do.
And so I decided to treat it — much as I did with Children of the Resolution — as a completely new project.
The Golden Kingdom of Because has now become the outline for As Morning Shows the Day. And this time I have (almost — the outline isn’t quite complete, yet) an ending that I am more than happy with.
Next comes the easy bit. Writing it.