Back in 2015, my November NaNoWriMo project was a follow up novel to my Victorian era Steampunk Comedy YA book, The Flight To Brassbright
. As usual, being the Pantser* that I am, I had a premise in mind and simply wrote until that premise had been fully explored. The premise was logistically tricky: Four letters, through a series of accidents, end up in the wrong envelopes and are misdelivered through the pneumatic tube mail system. However, the recipients don't know this happened, and assume the letters are for them. By acting on the information in each letter, many lives are changed. This basic idea got wrestled into four stories (one for each letter), plus a lengthy beginning that sets up the mayhem, and a hopefully satisfying celebration at the end.
Easy stuff, huh? I call it Down The Tubes
. Being the optimist that I am, I figured I'd have it tidied up and ready for publication in Spring of 2016. Well, here we are in Spring, 2017, and it's not published.
There's a couple of darn good reasons for that. First is, I have a day job, and the past few years have been very challenging on that front, leaving me very little time and energy at the end of the day to write and edit. I have managed to kick out some short kid's books AND a cookbook though, so I'm feeling good about that! And I have been slowly polishing, altering and editing Tubes
all along, too.
Then last month, my esteemed editor and spouse, Caribou Ken, suddenly had a blinding flash of brilliance and in one evening, came up with the perfect history and backstory for my fictional world. Suddenly, everything seemed more grounded and made a lot more sense. He incorporated my pantser-premises and gave them depth and meaning.
And now that I know the foundation that the planet called BrightHope and the country of Industralia is based on... Down The Tubes
needs to fall in line. This isn't a huge game-changer for the novel, but it does alter enough mindsets and actions that I needed to go back to the beginning and smooth it through with this new information in mind. At this stage, I think I have about 50 pages left to smooth. I also think some patches of the story got skimmed over too quickly and need to be explored in more depth. The first draft was about 52,000 words. Right now it's nearly 60,000, and I suspect it'll be 70-80,000 when completed.
So, Down The Tubes
is coming. Just a lot more slowly than ANYONE expected.
And I really need to learn how to draw maps. :)
*Pantser is a seat of the pants writer that doesn't do a lot of pre-planning, but just lets the characters dictate the direction. As opposed to a Planner, who does a proper outline before starting!
PS: I've had the cover ready for this novel for a long time! It's going to feel SO good to wrap it around a completed book.