Oh yeah, life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone.
-John Mellencamp, "Jack and Diane"
I've started writing a new novel. I've been noodling on it for several years, but for some reason I never felt quite inspired enough to move forward with it. If I'm honest, I think the main roadblock has been having The Sisters, Black Stag, White Doe, and The Greatest Show on Earth sitting in the cue, waiting to be edited and published. I supposed having over 300k words that need to be edited and released has been a pretty substantial obstacle to creativity.
But now that The Sisters has sailed, and I've started the process of dripping BSWD chapter by chapter, I'm feeling less weighed down by the past, and ready to move forward.
Tentatively titled, Barn Door, the new book is a historical horror tale about Hesha, a broke, enterprising young man in colonial Carolina. Just released from indentured servitude without a penny to his name and without the recommendation of his previous employer, he drowns his sorrows in the seedy underbelly of the nascent city of Charleston, racking up debts he surely can't pay. When he catches word of a tiny, remote village in the wilds of the western Carolina mountains that is in need of a "witch hunter,"--a vocation that hasn't been practiced in almost 50 years--Hesha senses the perfect con. He forges his papers and heads west to pay off his debts and find his fortune by taking advantage of this small, backwards community.
But when he arrives, he finds things aren't as they seem--land feuds, forbidden romance, and a stalking horror that haunts the black woods surrounding this isolated community. Has Hesha found the perfect con, or has he bitten off more than he can chew? Basically, I'm imagining it as a cross between The VVitch and Burton's Sleepy Hollow.
I've barely begun, but I have a good idea of the overall skeleton of the story, and probably the first third already mapped out. That's about as solid a start as I've ever had in the past, so I feel pretty good about moving forward with this. I'm definitely a pantster, so I rarely have more than a rough outline in my head. Everything else comes once I start. Kinda fun that way, since I barely have a better idea than anyone else what's going to happen.