Princess of Shadows has reached 115,000. I have managed, perhaps inadequately in this draft, to close out one major sequence that had puzzled me enormously; the remaining sequences feel fairly straight-forward, although my estimated final draft word count is probably now about 150,000 rather than 130,000. I seem to be coming in at an average of about 500 words a day, which is less than I’ve wanted to do, but better than sitting and staring at a blank screen.
As I make progress on Shadows, though, I am fighting off the temptation of other projects. I was sitting in my office the other day, reminiscing about all the pulpy TV sci-fi I loved when I was a kid and wondering if I could possibly write a story that would combine all the elements of those sorts of shows and movies, and lo and behold a ’60’s B-movie trailer popped into my head–
In deepest space, a lone astronaut crash-lands on a planet filled with primitive beasts—a savage world where death waits under every tree, and the very land itself is torn apart by primeval forces. But worse than any dinosaur or lava-flow is the dark alien menace that threatens to conquer all human life in the galaxy!
SEE him battle ferocious beasts from out of time!
WATCH as volcanic death spews across the land!
THRILL as he falls into the hands of the fierce Cave Women, who wage their own desperate battle for survival on DINOSAUR PLANET!
GASP in horror at terrible battles against the alien conquerors!
Don’t miss a single terrifying minute of DINOSAUR PLANET!
By the end of the day a full-blown plot had come together in my head. I’ve resisted writing it, though, because 1. it would take away time from Shadows, and 2. I’m pretty sure no one would buy it (not that I’m selling a lot of anything on Kindle the moment, anyway).
Then there’s the temptation to start writing a follow-up to my novella about the Battle of Shiloh, with the same characters, as we’re approaching the 150th anniversary of the siege of Vicksburg, which was the true turning point of the Civil War. I would really like to do this, but I really, really want to finish Shadows first, all the way through to final draft and publication. If I can finish the novel in three months, then I might have enough time to whip out the novella. Maybe.
Sigh. I supposed it’s better to have too many projects than to have nothing to write, but I hate the way they tend to get log-jammed in my head. Comes from being narrow-minded, perhaps….