Over the weekend I let myself fall down a rabbit hole: I’m writing a short prequel to Dark and Deep.
This means that I have two projects on the burner, which makes me nervous. My previous experiences with Makerism taught me that starting a second project is a surefire way to kill the first project, and I can’t–can’t–can’t kill Promises To Keep. Of course, I am now talking about writing, which is perpetually interesting at every stage of the process: first because you’re finding out what happens for the first time, then later because you’re finding all of the typos and non sequiturs you wrote the first time. It isn’t like knitting. It really isn’t. Promises to Keep will still be largely unwritten and even more interesting after I find out all of these things about the main character by writing his prequel.
Anyway, as I worked on Promises to Keep, one certain character developed a morbid fascination with another character’s life before The Settlement. It took me a couple of weeks, but I finally lit on the fact that I was interested in finding out about it, too, so here I am. 5300 words in. This story will end, I think, at between 15K and 20K words, and I’ll distribute it free of charge. If the Mother’s Day promotion taught me one thing, it’s that sex may sell, but F-R-E-E definitely distributes. I’d like to think that this little prequel will be compelling enough to make people want more.
What’s odd about it, of course, is that it’s a contemporary story. This is about Alexander Smith before he threw away the modern world and went native. I’m getting to see him go on holiday, drive a car, and order takeout… it’s a far cry from Dark and Deep, for sure. I’m also getting to see him, and you’ll forgive me for this, before Anna. It’s a little hollow and a little sad, but it’s also answering my niggling questions about what exactly he sees in her. The answer, happily, is quite a lot.