Beer and Book 3

Ok, I promised an actual post with some content, so here it is!

It has been a busy couple of months since releasing ‘Those Under The Hill’, the second of my Jack Glennison novels. During that time, I’ve been taking a break from Darkisle. Apart from pushing the new novel (and its predecessor, ‘The Gathering of Shadows’), I’ve been focussing on some short story submissions to magazines and anthologies. And not a bad success rate, though I do say so myself! Four submissions, with two acceptances, one near miss and one still pending.

Anyway, on with Book 3! The ideas behind my Darkisle fiction have been kicking around in my head for years. Decades, even. But there’s a big difference between having an idea and getting it down as a story, of course! Last Saturday saw the start of that process for Book 3.

It helped that it was warm and sunny, that I had the day to myself and that there was a mini-Beer Festival on in Durham, down by the River Wear. So off I went with my notebook (for making a start on the plot), phone (for research) and Robbie the rescue greyhound (who serves no useful purpose at all).

I was fairly satisfied with the results. I’ve got a plot outlined (two plots, in reality) and a really clear idea of the finale. Now to get them to mesh together, with the right characters in the right places, with no inconsistencies and with the overall arc of the series progressing as planned. I would love to be able to say that all this is thought out in advance and laid down with military precision, but in truth it’s a rather haphazard process with me, with lots of scribbled notes (often joined by arrows to other scribbled notes), many crossings out and the occasional sketch map. It’s all very organic at first, with a lot of trial and error. There will be some order applied, at some point, honest. Just not yet!

So where did I get to in the space of a sunny afternoon (and five pints)? Well, some thoughts on another part of Darkisle to explore. A rationale for some interesting developments within the Church of the Celestial Shadow. One idea for Something Horrific. And some interesting uses for copper sulphate…. The picture above summarises the progress during the second pint (with the pen hiding a plot idea, and the redacted area hiding the Horrific Something).

Early days yet. I’m still a way off actually starting to write. But the process has started!

Robbie, however, didn’t look overly impressed….

Published by Mark

Writer of Lovecraftian horror fiction and designer of games

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