Quiet round here for the last few weeks. I've been working on the stories for Die Laughing (now all more or less done other than the line edits) which is obviously my main focus. Hoping to have everything ready for publication by the middle of January which sounds like it's still a way off, but it's not at all. The main bulk of the work is done; the cover's sorted and I'm about 75% happy with my back cover blurb. Once that's done, I'll post it here to give people a good idea of what to expect.
As busy as I've been with Die Laughing, what's really knackered me for the last month is a particular piece I thought would be a doddle. A writer friend (the excellent Gary Fry) mentioned to me a few weeks ago that a publisher had an open call for Lovecraftian short fiction - principally stuff set in a world after the gods have taken over. Of course, this made me sit up and take notice. Mirror of the Nameless is all about this so bingo bango, it's time to write a short piece set in a similar world and cross my fingers that the publisher likes it.
The first draft started off decent enough, but after about 3k, I started to feel a bit unsure. It didn't stand out. It didn't make me want to keep going to see if it ended up where I thought it might. So, I rushed the ending and decided to rethink the whole idea. Second draft starts and it's a bit meh from the beginning. Dull, lifeless and just generally poor quality. Worse, nothing much Lovecraft about it. Okay, I think. Time for round three.
I finished that one last night and while it's marginally better than the first two attempts, it's still nothing special. Two days ago, I realised what the problem had been all along. My heart wasn't in it. The publisher's criteria is detailed so there are a few factors to be included. That put with writing in someone else's world meant I couldn't get excited about my tale. And if I'm not, why should anyone else be?
I need to read through the third version and make a decision. It might be best to put this one to bed or something salvageable in the 7k might make itself known. It comes down to if my heart's not in it, then I'm not being honest, and that's not the sort of writer I want to be.