A New Start

Don’t worry, this is not one of those… “Oh, with the new year, we all have to change ourselves… blah, blah, blah…” posts.

Rather, with the new year upon us, I just thought it was a good time to say… forget everything I have written to date about the new manuscript…

Okay, well, maybe not everything exactly. 😉

[James Joyce, Ulysses. December 2022 photo by me.]

I will explain. I was gifted that above for Christmas by the Mrs. As I started reading first the introduction background (by an academic, including a discussion of how it had been praised as a masterpiece as well as lambasted as p*rnographic trash) and then began to move into the story itself (that I suspect reading is going to take up the better part of 2023 at least – as I do have a few other things also to do and to read), I found myself reflecting more on what I am writing as my own next novel.

I have posted before that I felt pretty worn out in completing the most recent three. They were complex and covered lots of ground(s). All in, they totaled about seven years’ writing (following on from some nearly four decades of history reading).

I suppose when I finished the third, Capture The Cause, back in March that I had simply just had had more than enough writing (and thinking about and researching) for a while. Moreover, I felt as well that after them I had nothing now really to “prove” to myself. I had finally written the sorts of historical novels that I had hoped were both “educational” in some ways as well as “entertaining” reading.

[Capture The Cause, paperback.]

However, I re-read parts of that same third novel over the last couple of weeks. It happens to open on a New Year’s Eve nearly two centuries ago…

[From Capture The Cause. On Kindle for iPad/iPhone. Click to enlarge.]

…and fast-forwarding now to speaking of our current New Year’s, I have done no writing on the new manuscript whatsoever since days before Christmas. During that pause, I have realized I have an opportunity with the new book to do much more than I had really much considered back in, say, November.

And it hit me at some point in recent days that having been tired had been allowed too much, I feel now, to direct what I planned to write next. I had promised myself I would take about “a year” off once Capture The Cause was completed to rest and think about what would follow it. I may have simply jumped into starting the next book too quickly – after only about six months (influenced in that “rush” I suppose because I had readers already asking me about THE NEXT book and knowing I have tried for a decade not to take “too long” between new books and perhaps risk losing some readers).

With the next novel, I have now decided there will be much more happening than I had planned and the scope will be much more like my last three novels; and I even woke up this morning realizing I had thought of a title, too. I plan to “re-online” it as I envisage it now as perhaps something of a “reply” to the previous three novels – meaning if those were from the “rebel” point of view, this next will be much the same sort of tale yet from a “loyalist” point of view. That opens up an entirely new spectrum of (I hope) both “educational” and “entertainment” possibilities…

[Dartmouth, Devon. 7:38am, December 29, 2022. Photo by me.]

So it will be yet another “big” book, after all. Had I waited that full “year” before deciding, I might have made that same decision around March. I suppose with the “false start,” I have just gotten to that “big” decision a few months faster than I might have – which, considering I have now begun writing it already, I hope helps lead in the end to a better book.

Happy New Year, wherever you are in the world. 🙂