Satin and Sutherland Return for NaNoWriMo

November 6, 2015

The end of the first week of NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month, is fast approaching and I’m pleased to announce that my own novel is in a gloriously messy state. I’m even more pleased to announce that this novel marks the return of Satin and Sutherland for their next adventure.

It’s been a busy week, juggling my novelling (which isn’t a word but should be) with completing the journey that has been the development of the Sleuthhounds: The Cursed Cannon computer game. With the release of the game, which you really should play, most of my focus can now shift to my new novel.

As I mentioned at the outset, my novel is in a gloriously messy state. I wasn’t able to quite do as much planning or research as I’d hoped to prior to November. The result is that my story has several significant gaps in it. Structurally, I see the new novel, tentatively titled The Jurassic Crown Affair, as a three act story. I know pretty well everything that happens in act three. I know the broad strokes for act two. And…I know next to nothing about act one.

This isn’t really something new for me. I don’t think I’ve written a story yet in a completely linear fashion from beginning to end. My stories are much more “scatterbrained.” I typically jump all around the story, writing a scene here, a bit of dialog there, a chapter somewhere else. Eventually, the story starts to take shape. A lot of the early writing then tends to fall away during the editing process.

Given the big question mark of act one, I’ve gone ahead and skipped over that entire third of the story and jumped right into writing act two. I’m feeling my way through and I know parts of what I’ve written so far will hit the floor when I eventually do an editing pass, but the story is progressing, I’m more-or-less making my daily word counts, and I’m having a blast doing it.

The best thing about writing the story so far is that the title characters, Satin and Sutherland themselves, were waiting right there for me. With my focus on Sleuthhounds starting in January this year, I haven’t spared much thought for Satin or Sutherland. Writing them again has been just like meeting old friends.

This time out, Satin and Sutherland are hobnobbing with royalty in the form of Princess Louise, daughter of Queen Victoria and wife to one of Canada’s earliest governor-generals, the Duke of Argyll. Princess Louise was a fascinating person; a fashionable, clever, intelligent woman much ahead of her times in progressive thinking. Satin and Sutherland are looking into threats levelled against the princess by the Fenians, Irishmen who were looking to gain independence for Ireland from British rule by ransoming the country of Canada. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Satin and Sutherland story without some element of the fantastic to it. In the first book it was a band or prairie pirates. This time out, mechanical dinosaurs get the job.

I’m looking forward to seeing where this story takes me as well as to finding out how it starts (darned act one). Obviously the first draft is going to take most of the month to do. Beyond that, I’m not sure what the timing for the release of this novel will be. There’s a lot of pots on the stove right now but those are topics for future blog posts.

Until then, I still have a few more words to write today and no more reasons (excuses) to procrastinate.