Being the fifteenth – and final – post in a series charting the writing of a new fantasy detective story.
Things rarely turn out the way you expect. Including my short story Flatland. If you've been following this blog, you'll know how this project has taken a few unexpected twists and turns. Now it's sprung its final surprise. Flatland isn't a short story at all – it's a novel.
At least, it wants to be a novel. Whether it will become one or not only time will tell.
My suspicions were first aroused when I found I'd incorporated The Pattern into the story (The Pattern is the underlying structure of the cosmos, a strange and terrible texture the sight of which does strange things to you). Now, The Pattern also happens to be the central concept of an as-yet unwritten novel about String City, that mysterious burg where my nameless private investigator plies his trade. That novel has a working title of Big Picture.
The more I got into Flatland, the more its plot began to overlap with my notes for Big Picture. So much so that the two became completely intertwined. At that point I realised I wasn't writing a short story at all - I was plotting a novel.
"So are you going to put us out of our misery and write the damn novel now?" I hear you ask. "Not just yet," is my reply.
Big Picture is a novel I want to write, have no doubt about that. But before I devote any serious time to it I have other things more pressing. First is a ghost-writing project, delayed from January, that's just landed at my door. That'll keep me busy until the summer. After that I'm committed to completing the first draft of a new fantasy novel - a speculative project at the moment but I have hopes it will find a home. So Big Picture's going to have to wait.
All the above means this is the last post in the Flatland series of posts ... for now. As and when the Big Picture project goes live, I may consider blogging about that in the same way.
For posterity, I may even post the work to date on Flatland on this blog - all unfinished 8,500 words of it. Keep visiting, and you may yet get to read it!