So the book that at one point I wanted to call The Terror but now feel more secure in calling How the World Ends is now done. Well, in draft form. Which means that it’s really, really far from being done. And I’m not sure how other people-who-like-to-spend-lots-of-their-free-time-writing-fiction* feel about the moment they conclude the final sentence of their first draft of a book. To me, it’s triumphant–especially in this case at How the World Ends is the longest story I’ve ever written, after almost twenty years of spending way too much of my free time writing fiction. But I also appreciate that it’s a false triumph. That last sentence will be changed, along with the previous 175 000+ words. But it still means something. An idea–in this case, an idea that came to me in a dream–was able to be put into a complete story. That doesn’t mean that its a well-written story, or a cogent story, or an enjoyable story… but it’s a story.
What’s it about? I hate that question. (Which perhaps begs the question as to why I asked it?) But that doesn’t mean it’s not a valid one.
So, lets try answering it in fragments. All movie-trailer style. Lots of details without much context.
It’s about a family. People all around the world start killing each other in mass slaughters/suicides. The family survive and have no idea what the hell is going on. Bad things happen. More bad things happen. The family gets glimpses as to what is happening, and yet really still have no idea what is going on. More bad things happen. And then the world comes to an end. Or something like that.
Perhaps a more direct description is this: How the World Ends is a science fiction story about an alien invasion in which the word alien is never used… and in almost 180 000 words of text, that’s a challenge!
Anyhow, next steps. After a short break, I want to focus all my editing and revisions on Book One, which is the length of a short novel in itself (similar in length to The Year We Finally Solved Everything). Once I feel ready to publish that, I move on to Book Two, and likewise for Book Three. I was able to complete all three parts in two years (from the dream that started it all to that last(ish) sentence) and so I’d think two more years just to edit and revise should be doable. What’s that? 2018 for Book Three and the complete story? Okay. I can do that.
Well, that’s it. Now that the draft is complete, I could probably try updating this blog a little more regularly.
* also known as authors, although that sounds like I actually pay my mortgage with this activity.