From The Fishbowl

Scribbles about stuff



I’ve been awful recently. Simply terrible.

You may (or, more likely, may not) remember that some time ago I set out three projects. The most realistic of which was a novel called This Immortal Coil.

I’m here today to tell you that This Immortal Coil, in many senses, is dead. Fittingly. But in other senses it’s more alive than ever.

Y’see, in the midst of its writing, I stumbled upon any writer’s worst enemy. Block. I simply did not know where to go next. I knew what would happen at the end and I had 15,000 words of a beginning. But other than that? Nada. And it frightened me so much that I put the project aside for several weeks, during which time I did, basically, bugger all. Which is awful. Simply terrible.

But last week I had a revelation. What if the problem wasn’t the story? What if the problem was the format? Was a novel really the right solution for This Immortal Coil?

Some time ago, in one of my many insomnia-fuelled nighttime mind-ponderings, I attempted to come up with a TV series. I absolutely failed. I constantly had good ideas for stories – well, I think they’re good – but in an episodic format they just…wouldn’t be.

See, for a film, or a novel, or a short story, there needs to be a beginning, a middle and an end. A story. A narrative. TV shows, comic books and the like need a concept above all. Something that can be repeated. For instance: concept of Lost – a plane crashes on a magical island. Doctor Who – an alien travels through time helping people. Supernatural – two brothers fight monsters together. Sure, in each of these examples there is, for the most part, an over-riding plot, but each individual episode needs to be just that – individual, at least to an extent. If you miss one, it has to not matter, except in rare cases.

I was reading over the draft that I had started and something hit me. What I had written to that point wasn’t really a bound story. It was a series of vignettes held together quite loosely for the sake of it. It came to me that what I had created for This Immortal Coil was a concept and then trying to force a narrative onto that, rather than letting it speak for itself.

What I am doing with This Immortal Coil, therefore, is taking what I call the Sherlock Holmes approach. I will write multiple stories concerning the characters. Whenever I feel like it and whenever I have something I’m proud enough of to show off. There will be certain overtones – a Moriarty, I suppose – but for the most part each story will be individual. It might work. It might not. I won’t know until I try.

With that in mind, given that the beginning of the novel already has around three or four stories within it already, hopefully the first entry in the This Immortal Coil series will be available soon in some fashion. I have no idea whether it is going to be an eBook or posted straight here or something else entirely. I’ll see how it goes.

But Ankou will be here. Soon. Prey he doesn’t take your soul.

Thanks, as ever, for reading.

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