My New Novella: The Process Begins…

With yesterday’s update, I mentioned my new novella, Chiggers, and said that I’d post updates following the process. Since me saying that I’ve started a novella called Chiggers doesn’t necessarily mean that there will one day be published a novella called Chiggers, this could be an interesting look at the insanity of my process.

So let’s start by taking a quick look at my contract with DarkFuse:

  • The deadline is March 1, 2014.
  • Length between 17,500 and 35,000 words.
  • Must be a stand-alone work.

And that’s pretty much it. Obviously, since DarkFuse is a horror publisher, I ought not to turn in a romantic western, but as long as I stick to the horror genre, I can write anything I want.

Every once in a while an idea will come to me and I’ll write the opening to a story with no idea where it’s headed, and often with no immediate plans to keep working on it. So a couple of months ago I wrote about 600 words of what I figured would be some kind of crime novel. Then I put it away.

Last week, I decided that it was time to at least figure out what my DarkFuse novella is going to be about. I wrote a couple pages of something that would be extremely dark, but only in its final scenes. The rest would be a long, non-horror buildup to a shocking conclusion. I will almost certainly return to this project at some point, but for now, I decided that it’s not the right fit.

So I went back to the crime novel opening and thought, “What can I do to turn this into something that’s absolutely batsh*t insane?” I’ve been wanting to return to the “bugs run amok” genre since last tackling it over a decade ago with Mandiblesand I’d had an idea for something called Chiggers which went no further than “Chiggers would be a cool idea for a book,” and I decided to Frankenstein them together.

With that in mind, I added a couple more pages to the project (though no chiggers have shown up yet). I’ve got two characters in the already-written section, and I know the other three characters that are going to show up, and deadly chiggers are going to be involved, and…well, that’s all I’ve got so far.

Tomorrow I’ll post the first piece that I wrote, before I had any idea where it was headed.

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