March 2019 Archives

So, I have some news to announce this week. Three pieces of it, in fact. All of them have been embargoed for sometime, but I'm finally clear to talk about it—just not all at once. So I'm going to update this announcement a couple of times between now and next Wednesday.

Firstly—I've been sitting on this for ages—but I'm now allowed to admit in public that THE LAUNDRY FILES has been optioned for TV by 42 (producers of Watership Down and Traitors (among other things). This has been grinding through the works for over a year. It's an option deal, meaning the production company are looking at writing a pitch and maybe a pilot script and seeing if they can get a network interested, so it's early days. It doesn't mean that a series has been commissioned or that anything is going to happen. (We've been here before, circa 2006-08, with an American outfit, and in the end nothing came of it.) However: it's a British production company, so anything that emerges this time round is likely to have a British feel to it, and they have a great track record.

Next piece of news ...? Check back here in a couple of days!

(No, I don't know what's going to happen either.)

This isn't really a blog entry so much as the head of a discussion thread about the constitutional crisis currently gripping the UK, to stop Brexit neepery overrunning the comments on anything else I post here for the next month or six.

(We have: a minority government led by an instinctive authoritarian xenophobe who consistently fails to understand the relationship between the Crown-in-Parliament and the Government, not to mention an issue that has split the British public down the middle and similarly split both main political parties so badly that they're already fragmenting. It's being exploited as a wedge issue by the hard right and by foreign actors and unscrupulous investors who want to asset-strip what's left of the state and then repurpose it as a tax haven (there are signs that the hard left is also interested in the potential for what one might call "disaster socialism", but this is probably over-stated). The issue is also acting as a centrifuge on the Union, because majorities in Scotland and Northern Ireland opposed Brexit from the outset—indeed, the third largest party in Parliament, the Scottish National Party, are adamantly opposed, but totally sidelined by the dominant Conservative/Labour factions. And we have a bunch of other splinters under the fingernails of the body politic: the DUP (from the quasi-Christo-fascist right of Northern Ireland) propping up Theresa May, for example. And on the other other side, we have the EU27, who are acting collectively and defensively to defend their stability by enforcing the rule of international law—which none of the British factions seem to understand.)

Anyway. What's happening today? What's going to happen tomorrow? Your guess is as good as mine, so feel free to have at it in the comments!

So, about a decade ago I wrote an essay on this blog about the writing of the Merchant Princes series (at that point, six slim novels—the Empire Games follow-on trilogy wasn't more than a daydream back then), in which I tried to pin down what I'd learned about writing a series.

Now, a decade later, I've written a whole lot more. The Merchant Princes/Empire Games sequence is now up to nine books (yes, "Invisible Sun" is in the edit pipeline: it'll be published in March 2020). The Laundry Files is up to ten books, plus nearly another book's worth of short stories. (That tenth novel isn't announced yet, but will probably show up in 2020.)

Having written a story over a million words long twice, I thought I'd sit down and do a brain dump of what I've learned about writing really long-form fiction—in the hope that it'll be useful to someone else who's just starting out on this ultra-marathon.

(By way of a yardstick, a 300 page book is roughly 100,000 words. "The Lord of the Rings" weighs in at 440,000 words: "War and Peace" is around 620,000 words.)

Specials

Merchandise

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This page is an archive of entries from March 2019 listed from newest to oldest.

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