A rule of thirds

So we’re a third of the way through sweet ’16. If you picture this year as an ellipsis we’re only one dot done…

How’s it going? I’m striving towards the one third marker of my first full-length novel. The next instalment of that work-in-progress will be imminently, freely available. Right now, intrepid readers can sample, almost, a third of it in draft form. Voila: The Imaginary Coup (working title) remains freely downloadable via LeanPub’s “publish early, publish often” platform. Feedback is welcome while I draft the Coup through 2016.

I’m savouring the Coup draft despite the fact that some current research for this novel has me delving into both the sanctioned and the secretive ‘interrogation’ records (including detention and torture) of various State powers. Some sickening case studies. But read on, please, this post is only a third done and it promises a happier ending…

So I’m dividing my available writing hours: drafting book number two of The Feng Trilogy having published one third of those novellas (2015). These shorter books are distinct from the Coup in more ways than just their quicker reading length. Whereas the Coup is being developed with a single novel genre in mind, the Feng novellas are unashamedly contrarian, twisting three genres. A kind of ‘rule of thirds’.

Taken together the three Feng novellas constitute a simple tale about one man’s obsession. As novella number two takes shape, it builds on the obsessions of Mr Feng that have been aired in the opening novella -just as it signposts what will be resolved in the final novella. Since we’re talking thirds: the trilogy is effectively a beginning, a middle, an end.

Three is the magic number, right? The third strand to my current workload has recently, serendipitously, cropped up. A trusted collaborator aired that, on the sly, he’s always wanted to make a picture book… yes, for pre-schoolers. I am not a parent, he is, of a pre-schooler. Whether or not you’re a parent of such a sprite, a muse, a toddler, I can confidently state for the record that writing even a short number of words that successfully engage and enchant the pre-school imagination is just as challenging a write as my first full-length novel for adults.

So, all told, I’m spinning three plates. 3 card Monte Capture
Perhaps a more suitable
metaphor to pluck from conjurer’s (and hustler’s) parlance is the three cup-and-ball trick, or maybe the so-called ‘three card Monte‘? Either way, good things come in threes, right?


Who knows if life is partly governed by a ‘rule of thirds’, some kind of innate sense… I am none the wiser. What I do know is that you and I still have two thirds of this year ahead: to act, to author, to achieve… So how about it? What will you read or outline, plot or scene, draft or re-write today?

 

 

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