Matt Gemmell

TOLL is available now!

An action-thriller novel — book 2 in the KESTREL series.

★★★★★ — Amazon

Status report – May 2015

writing & status 2 min read

This is a brief status update regarding my writing projects. It might be of interest to those who are following along with my work.

Firstly and most importantly, after a pretty horrible few months, the redraft of my novel, Changer, is going more smoothly again.

I’m trimming ancillary characters, and reworking a primary relationship, which has been a drain on my motivation. I have a full revision plan that I’m working through (you can get an ebook of my technique for dealing with plot issues, by the way), and I’m making progress.

My OmniFocus project for the redraft is 170 items long at the moment, to give you some idea of the scope, split into plot, character, structure, scene and copy tasks. Most of them involve changes woven through the 90,000-or-so words of the novel, so it’s a somewhat amorphous process.

Changer really should have been out a while ago. I’ve learned so much about the necessity (for me, personally) of rigorous outlining before starting the first write-through. I cut corners on that process, and it came back to bite me.

I was too eager to begin the fun part – the actual writing, which is also the worst part, along with every other part of the process – and I’ve paid the price tenfold in the redraft. I’m eager to knock it into shape and get something out there. I do like the book as I read through it during editing, so the enthusiasm is certainly there. I hope you will too.

I want Changer to be out this Summer, and ideally I’d like to have another novel more or less ready by Christmas.

Changer is part of a series (called KESTREL, which is in the adventure thriller category), and my thinking at the moment is to devote the first half of each year – for a while – to a book in that series, then the second half of the year to a standalone horror/supernatural novel, which is my most beloved genre (I wrote about the importance of scary stories too).

It’s a tall order, and I’m not James Patterson, but my aim is to try and make this work. The Summer books will part of the ongoing series, and the Winter books will be the spooky stuff that’s more in the tone you might be accustomed to from some of my more reflective writings here; pieces like In Winter, Paths, Mask, and Darkwater. You can read more work in that tone in my volume of collected essays, Raw Materials, which is available on the Amazon Kindle Store.

I have tentative ideas for my first Winter book, to begin working on later this year. It’s a novel I’ve provisionally titled Middleshade Road, and I’m excited to start the planning process.

Between Changer and (probably) Middleshade, I’ve also just signed the contract today for a mini-project: a non-fiction book for fellow writers, whether your output is fiction, blog articles, documentation, or anything, really. It’ll be a brief ebook, and it’ll hopefully be out in early August. I can’t talk about it yet, but I’ll be telling you more nearer publication time. If you’d like to keep up to date, following me on Twitter is a good idea.

You might also like to visit my Books page for information on my published, announced, and in-progress projects.

As ever, thank you for reading.