I’ve made a few tweets and Facebook posts about being ready for another update on my second book, The Black Glass Killer, and after some determined writing this week I’ve managed to reach my goal a bit earlier than anticipated. My first progress report for this book came at the end of the first week of July, so it’s been just about two months. As I’ve said before, I would like to be transparent and open about where I am with my novels and what’s going on in the writing process, and it’s fun for me as well to talk about my projects as they happen. If you’re not sure about my second book, there’s an introduction to it on my blog, as well as a small teaser for it. You’re also welcome to view my first book, The Sorrow, if you so desire. Either way, it’s time to talk about progress in this next report.

I’m pleased to say that I’ve reached the 100 A4 page mark for The Black Glass Killer. The book is currently 43,418 words and I’m on Chapter 12. That means in the last two months I’ve progressed 50 A4 pages, over 23,000 words and interestingly enough only four chapters. To once again remind you for the sake of comparison, my first book was around 250 A4 pages, and ended up being a total of 147,470 words, roundabouts. So I’m pretty much deep into it at this point. I’m generally happy with the way the book has been progressing thus far, but I feel I can be open about the reasons why it isn’t going as fast as my first book, and what has been happening that I’ve only advanced four chapters in the story.

In my first book I was excessively meticulous. Every chapter in the book was named, which means I had an exact idea of where the book needed to be at the end of each chapter and said chapter could not conclude until that point was reached, and nearly every scene was planned out. I admit in my inexperience I resorted to over-explaining and had some logical inconsistencies, but for the most part I was obsessive about how I crafted each scene and the amount of research I put into authenticity. Thus planning was much longer, but writing was fast because of it. For The Black Glass Killer, my chapters are not named and I have opted for less planning so that writing can flow more organically. I have not constructed each and every scene, but rather chose to capture moments individually. While it may sound as though I’m being lackadaisical about this book, the reality is that I am trying a different writing approach, and I find it very appealing and fresh to write in this way too.

Since psychopathy is a core theme of The Black Glass Killer, I have also done extensive research into it and know an awful lot about the subject matter now, but I have tried to exclude the excessive detail that people could research themselves, and rather focus on the characters and expression of these traits through action. Another important reason as to why the book is moving a bit more slowly is because rather than have the whole book mapped out, including the precise nature of the ending, I have opted to map out four or five chapters in advance and leave the rest subject to change. Again, it is a different style as I focus on a chunk of the story at a time and evolve it as I progress.

The last thing I wish to discuss about the novel at this point is that I’m opting for a darker narrative than my first book. It’s a very big but awesome challenge to write from the perspective of an apathetic character without empathy, and especially deal with their responses to emotionally charged situations, which leads to hours spent on single scenes. Nevertheless, while this won’t be the darkest material I write (you’ll see in my next book), it’s definitely going to be up there in terms of being a grim read. At least, that’s what I hope for, and the only judge of that will be you. At this point core elements and themes include psychopathy, apathy, absence of empathy, the capacity for darkness in a person, murder and the absence of motive and chaos. That last one is particularly important, because my first book had a kind of order and structure to it, whereas with this one I hope to at least stun the reader once or twice with unpredictable chaos. I’m particularly interested in that.

To round off this update, I can’t say how long the book will be entirely, but I have estimated that it will be a similar length to my first book. I wish to complete a first draft by the end of this year, and spend two or more months editing it. I hope to publish it early next year. For the most ideal timing, before the end of March. But I’m not going to commit to a date yet, because the crazy excitement surrounding my first book is something I’ve learned to calm down through experience, and I instead want to focus on releasing the book in its best possible state. I’m sure I’ll make more mistakes along the way, but I view them as positives that will improve me as a writer, so here’s to many more great mistakes and wonderful landmarks. I hope you’ve found this update to be interesting, and you enjoy seeing where I’m at with my books as much as I like writing about it (writing about writing for writingception?). Till next time then, and back to the writing table for me.