Word count and future ideas

I closed my iPad, then leaned back in my lounge chair. “That’s a wrap for today, folks.”

Lisa Burton, my robot assistant picked the twin ponytails from her hair. “Back to more Cicis tomorrow?”


“You really need to get these girls some better clothes.”

“I did, but they tend to wear jumpsuits while they’re on the ship. We’re deep into the mission right now.”

Percy, the Space Chimp, perked up. “Not bad, dude. I’m finally in the shuttle and weapons are hot. I’m expecting to kick some major ass tomorrow.”

“Me, too. We’re nearly finished. You have two adventures left in this book and I should easily break eighty-thousand words.”

“Could be a lot bigger for science fiction.”

“True, but in this era people seem to like something shorter if it isn’t going to wrap in one book.”

“And we have three coming.”

“We’ll see. My first trilogy was popular until the final volume. Nobody wanted root monsters and Kung Fu after book two.”

He bolted upright on the couch. “Dude, don’t do that to me. I planned on three volumes.”

“That’s still the goal, but I might not release any of them until they’re completely finished. A tighter release schedule might help. It was a good day at 2800 words.”

“And, tomorrow we’re blowing the crap out of things?”

“That’s the plan. I gotta tell you, I’m thinking about starting something different.”

“Don’t do that. We’ve got what it takes.”

“I think so, too. I can always start another hat story. You were backup, then moved into primary position. I feel the need for a new secondary story. There are some stand alone ones I could write. There’s the revenge story that takes place in a post-apocalyptic swamp. One that’s an African adventure that still needs some black magic ideas. I even have one about Dash Goodman going on his quest to become a full member of the coven. It will involve a Native American girl and some of her lore, a stolen PBY floatplane, and summoning a fun familiar for him that I dreamed up.”

“Nobody wants to read that crap. A talking Space Chimp with a Human girlfriend working as a spy is what they want.”

“Relax. I still need Dash to be an apprentice for a few more years. What do you think about Dash Goodman & the Last of the Lava Men, or Mud Men, or something?”

“I think it sounds stupid. I could steal a ship and save you from writing it. Show you some real adventure, too.”

“There’s also the Detroit story. Tons of abandoned homes and two kids playing Indianna Jones stumble across something more serious.”

“We could go back to the fleet graveyard and find some antiquated garbage, too.”

“Calm down. We’ll work together tomorrow. Dash Goodman needs a serious outline to chase a McGuffin, and so does the Detroit thingie.

“I won’t let you down. I promise.”

“I wonder how I’d look as an Indian Princess?” Lisa asked.

“Probably too blonde, and it’s going to be a modern setting. She’s Salish, so I’d need to do some research before I could start. Feels like something two or three years down the line.”

“Will we be done by then?” Percy asked.

“I think so. I still have to weave other things into my schedule. Sometimes I work better with a side project. I’m just warning you it could happen.”

“Good talk, but let’s see where tomorrow takes us. Maybe you’ll get so fired up you don’t want a side story.”

“Maybe, but I wouldn’t count on it.”


Filed under Muse, Writing

26 responses to “Word count and future ideas

  1. I need to blow up a homicidal Hispanic female gang tomorrow. Without killing the sudden appearance of a deuteragonist that triggers the mayhem. In a lingerie store. With hand grenades. Let me know how you do with the bossy chimp!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Shame that people gave up at the final volume of your trilogy. I thought those still worked, but you may be right that shorter works are in now.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When I tell people that my characters nag me to death all the time, they think I’m crazy. Good to know I’m not alone, Craig!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Percy’s a bit needy, is he?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 2800 words are nothing to sneeze at. Hope you’re having a productive day today.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve got say—Percy is pretty persuasive. I say listen to the chimp! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Having just finished reading The Good Liniment, I love the idea of Dash Goodman getting his own story. He is a very strong character. By the way, I loved the story and posted my review. I hope to get something up on my blog this week.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Book Review: The Girl From the Well Rin Chupeco by Traci Kenworth – Where Genres Collide Traci Kenworth YA Author

  9. I’m bummed! Your third Lanternfish didn’t do as well as the first two? Was it timing? Is that why you’re going to release all three of the new series closer together? I’ll never figure out what works and what doesn’t in publishing. Have to say, though, I’m still a fan of Jason Fogg. I think he could come up with a good book for you:) But then, I’m a mystery writer….

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have no idea what happened with Lanternfish. Maybe folks just lost interest between stories. That’s why I’ll try a more rapid release next time. I like Jason and he could show up again. I still have a loose idea about a third experimental notebook one day.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Craig, a fun post but you have raised some interesting thoughts around book length and trilogies. I also think that modern people, strapped for time, prefer shorter books. I’ve never tried a trilogy so I can’t talk to that, but if I look at ratings and reviews for other authors with trilogies, the first book always has a lot more than the rest. They do seem to drop off as the series progresses.


  11. Victoria Zigler

    Sounds like you have some fun stuff in the works.

    Liked by 1 person

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