I finished the second draft of Jani and the Great Pursuit last week. It came out at 104,500 words, which gives me a bit of leeway for cutting when I go through the ms again with a red pen before Christmas. Jani and the Greater Game was 96,500 words long, so if needs be I can cut around eight thousand words. It’s amazing what I will end up cutting, everything from minor things like ‘he said’ and ‘she said’ and ‘he nodded’, etc, to bigger things like paragraphs of description. At the moment, I don’t think I’ll be cutting entire scenes – but I’ve said that before at this stage and, in the cold light of day, come to realise that what I thought were vital episodes were only so much dead wood that could be excised to the betterment of the story. We’ll see.
And then? I have the third Telemass novella, Reunion on Alpha Reticuli II, to rewrite and submit to PS Publishing, hopefully before Christmas, and a short story that needs work. As for what I’ll be doing next year… At the moment, I don’t know (other than writing the fourth Telemass novella, as yet untitled). I do know what I’d like to work on: the third Langham and Dupré crime novel and the third Jani book, but neither has been commissioned yet (it all depends on the sales figures of the previous books in the series), so things are still up in the air, work-wise.
But before then it’s the Christmas holiday, which we’re spending with family down in Haworth, Yorkshire, a world away from work, the dog, and work on packing up here (Tyninghame, Dunbar) for the move twelve miles south to the village of Cockburnspath in Berwickshire, which should be happening towards the end of January.