WIP Wednesday #19: Katabasis

This week begins my march to the sea. I’ve completed over half of the projects on my schedule for 2016, and begun to line up work for next year. Feel free to applaud, or throw stones, according to preference.

I’ve begun the second big novella project for this year. At 40,000 words, it’s a hefty one, but I think it’ll be fun to work on. It’s an IP I’ve never played around with before, involving some vaguely Lovecraftian concepts that take a left-turn into a deeper sort of weirdness. Alternate-yet-commingled realities, living grimoires, psychic ghosts, and the legacy of Captain Nemo. Fun stuff.

I’m around 6k into it. It’s 1921 and the experimental submersibles have just entered the waters of Abu Qir Bay, pursued by the bullets of a clandestine occult organization. Meanwhile, in the city-that-was, strange doings are afoot…

I’ve also started my submission for Sharkpunk 2. Tentatively titled “The Thunder, His Passing”, it finds the Royal Occultist in Fiji, dealing with an angry shark-god. I’m aiming for brevity with this one, so I’m around 3k into a 4-5k story. I might go a bit longer if I can get the psychic-dream-mind-meld scene to work, but I’m thinking it might be tad indulgent as it stands. ‘Weird for the sake of weird’ isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I don’t think this is the right story for it. Then, maybe it is. We’ll see.

I’m changing up some things with this one. I want to tweak the Royal Occultist formula some, and see if I can start moving the concept towards something a touch more…elegant? Subtle? Mature? I dunno. Stripping it back to the basics a bit, and forgoing some of the ‘louder’ aspects of the series, basically. It’s not something I’m going to do every time, but I’d like to get the formula elastic enough to fit a variety of markets. At the moment, there’re only a few places that dig the ‘guns, monsters and Wodehouse’ thing, and if the concept is going to get any real traction or staying power, it needs to evolve a bit.

Besides those two, I’m working on the revisions for The Sea-Leopard. I’ve added some new words, to replace the ones I’ve hacked out. Key characters have been introduced earlier, and their motivations/goals more clearly explained. I’m working on roughly a scene a day, taking my time with things. There’s no deadline for finishing this, and I see no real reason to hurry. Slow and steady, etc.

On a parting note, have you preordered Phileas Fogg and the Heart of Osra yet? If not, maybe check out the Kindle edition of Phileas Fogg and the War of Shadows, and see if that convinces you.