>Flatland 15

>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!

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