Off we go again.

I finished the first draft of The Land of the Slow-Burning Fires on Queen’s Birthday, Monday 2nd June. It was with a feeling of immense, almost cathartic, release that I typed the last words. It is only a first draft, of course, and there is some considerable revision to be done – I have not actually read it yet – but the hard part was now over. So what now? I had at first thought that I would have a little rest, do some reading and then begin the editting process, but a remark made by Shangar to Talivan in the last chapter set me to thinking. And then Chapter Four emerged from my subconscious.

About a month or so ago I resolved to approach my writing in a more structured manner and attempt to write a minimum of a thousand words a day. I stuck to this discipline and ‘Land’ was finished accordingly, having taken about four months to write. But there was a flow-on effect. By insisting on a thousand words a day, my brain did not stop working. The creative process continued unabated. So, I decided, as the river is flowing, do not dam it. I looked at the notion that had arisen from Shangar’s comment, and the next stage of the story became obvious. I had thought that the voyage to consolidate the retinue would be the logical next stage, but no. The Bonding of the Stormbird will have to wait. The Holder of the Lamp must be set out first, because this will have very great bearing on the nature of the voyage.

Queen’s Birthday observance was on the Monday. On Wednesday the fourth of June I resolved to spend ten days noting down a plot outline. If I could arrange the tale within that time, I knew that I could then properly begin the main narrative at a thousand words a day. Here I am, ten days later on the 14th of June. I have the outline in hand to the tune of about three thousand words over thirty chapter headings and I am ready to begin. So, off we go again. Herewith begins the tale of the Holder of the Lamp.


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