The world will drown in cut scenes
Whenever I finish a draft of a new book, I generally want nothing to do with it for a while. When you spend months immersed in a world, sometimes you want to go holiday somewhere else. I haven’t been doing a whole lot of writing since I handed in the manuscript for the third Cross book, The Apocalypse Ark. I’ve done a bit of work on another project, but I can’t really talk about that yet, so never mind.
While I’ve been waiting for the edits to The Apocalypse Ark, though, I’ve still been thinking about Cross and his crazy friends. I’ve been making some notes for the fourth book, and I think I know how it’s going to take shape. (I’ve known what it’s going to be about for a while, but knowing that and knowing how you’re going to write it are two different things.) I’ve also written a Cross short story, which is a first for that series.
The story grew out of a scene I deleted from The Apocalypse Ark in the last edit. I’d written a battle scene I’d really loved, based on a real historical battle, but I’d made some changes to the plot that meant the battle no longer worked in the book. I really loved the battle, though, and I didn’t want to just toss the whole thing out. I cut it and put it aside in a folder in case I could use it in a later book. When I thought about it more, though, I realized I could turn it into a short story simply by giving it new framing elements — a new beginning and end.
Famous last words.
I spent the last week working on the story and I’ve got it into decent shape now. It’ll probably need another draft or two and then it’ll be done. While I kept some of the spirit of the original scene I cut from the book, I don’t think I kept a single word — so I ended up writing a completely new story rather than just tacking on a new beginning and end to the original scene. And that’s all right. The story I have now, tentatively titled “The World Will Drown in Tears,” is better than that cut scene anyway.
Of course, now I’m thinking it could be fun to do a collection of Cross stories, little adventures he’s had over the ages. They could be set in different times so there’d be a noir Cross, a medieval Cross, a contemporary Cross, a Napoleonic Cross… you get the idea. Hmm. Something to think about.
I’m not sure what will happen with this story once it’s done. I’ll run it past ChiZine and see if they’re interested in doing something with it and then we’ll go from there.
There’s probably some sort of writing lesson in all this, but I’m not sure what it is other than to keep all those scenes you cut. You never know where that damn muse is hiding.
Have you read…?
The Mona Lisa Sacrifice
The first book in the Cross series, featuring the enigmatic character of Cross, the man who woke up in Christ’s body after Christ left the earth to wherever it was he went. Written under the alias Peter Roman. Because, you know, Christ, Romans….
Click here for more details.