Not much more to add today, except to say that I’ve dived into a new character. I’ve been wonderfully surprised by a couple of people, one from America, the other Nepal of all places, who have both said they see shades of Joe Abercrombie in my writing, which is huge. I’m a massive fan of Abercrombie, and Abercrombie fantasy, or grey fantasy. I’ve always enjoyed the sword and sorcery stuff, but there’s so much more room for interpersonal nuance when you’re dealing with characters who don’t fall into such clearly defined archetypes.
My last story/debut novel, Long May Men Have Voices was 800 pages, 200k words of trope and stereotype, or stereotrope fantasy, as I like to call it. I believe it was good in its own way, rather well written, if I do say so myself, but it wasn’t at all what I had wanted it to be. I’m very much hoping I can turn the House of Keys into a character piece. I’ve gone into this story with literally no plans beyond letting my characters show me around. The first chapter is 24 pages and 10k words. I fully expect to cut it down, but there will invariably be large parts of it which consist of little more than characters exploring their surroundings.
I’m not only looking towards grey fantasy as where I want to go with my writing, but as an exceptionally difficult challenge. For me, there is no one better than giving voices to characters than Joe Abercrombie, the way he moulds his narrative around the hopes, desires and intentions of his characters is masterful. It’s on a different level. The guy is a genius. If I can achieve anything close to his level of talent, I’ll consider myself a success. Published or not.
Anyway, I’m still ahead of the target, my daily average is around 1800 words and I’m looking at finishing on the 28th, if I can keep it up. So all is looking pretty good.