2020 – The State of Play

Well it’s been a while since the grand plans I had for you last year were written up on a post somewhere on this site (you can find it here). Needless to say I did not begin writing any other series, or stand alone novels.

What I did do was work through the edits on The Blood of the Spear. That was a big job. Not because there was a lot to do -although there was – but more because when your manuscript weighs in at 197K words, that’s a LOT of words to edit.

If I didn’t like big books so much it would definitely put me off writing so many words again. Luckily(?) I do – like big books, that is – and I am now am at getting a first draft that is ‘cleaner’, but these things take time.

The Blood of the Spear is now out for review with my editor. So what is there to do now? Well, I a synopsis is needed (somebody shoot me) and a series proposal. The plan is to start submitting to agents this year. I would like to get a traditional deal, but failing that I will most likely self-publish – it is certainly more viable these days then when I first started working in the retail side of book selling.

Hopefully when I get the report back my editor won’t have a huge list of things for me to address and I can start stalking submitting to agents as soon as possible.

In other news I have commissioned Matt Ward (aka Deck Matthews – check out his books, they are awesome!) to turn my map of the broken continent, Athmay (where my story is set) into something a bit more publishable.

My draft of the map, hand drawn and labelled in MSPaint

I’m really happy with what I’ve seen of his work so far and will post it up here when it’s ready.

And I’ve upgraded my website (with the help of Chris Rosser – check out his books, they are awesome too!).

Int he last year I started practicing some flash fiction that I post on my IG page (and then post here later). It’s been an interesting time. Some of the fiction has been an exploration of other stories and worlds and some has been set within the same world as The Blood of the Spear. Basically I grab a piece of art from my IG feed that speaks to me and see what comes in terms of a story based around it. It’s been fun – although sometimes hard – and I’ve had some great feedback from it.

I also have the start of a space opera/galactic fantasy buzzing around in the corners of my mind that I think would be a cross between Star Wars and Warhammer 40K… I need to think about it some more.

In the meantime I should to start writing up a more detailed outline for book 2, The Towers of the Stars. The first time around when I was writing TBotS, I didn’t really outline at all. I had the broad plot strokes in my head and I was on an adventure to find all the places in between, but now? Thinking about the next volume and all the subsequent volumes, I feel I need to work on my outlining some more.

The other books and series I talked about in the State of Play last year are still on my future projects list. If any of them caught your interest they may see the light of day at some stage.

So, that is the State of Play for me as of March 2020. As the year progresses things will change, and I will update you all in the blog. I also plan on setting up a Newsletter – but I doubt I will send more than 4 newsletters out a year. We will see.

Thanks for reading!
Mark.

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