Back in the dragon saddle

Word count: 31,595

Yes, I know, I haven’t blogged much about The Spiral Skull lately. The reason’s very simple: the new dragon novel’s had to take a back seat to allow me to tackle other, more pressing projects. First was a short story called The Voyage of the Plastic Beagle, now completed and submitted. Second was a pitch-and-sample for a series of historical novels. I’ve also been writing notes for another pitch, this time for a mammoth fantasy project that may well prove the death of me. More about all of these as they develop.

Anyway, today’s my first day back with the dragons, and boy were they cross I’d ignored them. Resisting the suicidal urge to edit work-to-date instead of composing anew, I plunged straight back in to the MS at the point where I’d I left off (halfway through chapter nine, with Pyx and Nimbus observing the rather disturbing antics of a ridiculously large creature called a leviathan) … only to encounter considerable resistance. The characters I fell in love with way back at the beginning of the project proved churlish and uncooperative. They refused to tell me why they were doing what they were doing, and they certainly weren’t going to let me in on what they were planning to do next. In short, the book folded its arms and turned its back on me in a huff.

I wrote all the same. After a while, I took a good sniff of the thousand or so words I’d put down and judged them stale in the way socks get stale when you leave them at the bottom of the wash basket. So I deleted them and started again. By now, Nimbus and Pyx had loosened up a bit. Perhaps even forgiven me. They stopped telling me I was a tired old hack unable to string words together in any meaningful way and started living their lives again. Nimbus even decided to wield a little charm in a way I hadn’t expected, resulting in a scene that I do believe is rather cool. Even better, I now know exactly what happens next.

After all that I feel a bit bruised. It’s like getting on a horse only to have it throw you off. The only solution, of course, is to get back on again. And again. And again. Eventually it gives in and, with luck, takes you on the ride of your life. Or maybe throws you off at the water jump. I figure as long as I hang on and keep feeding it sugar lumps, things will turn out okay.

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