The State of THE BLUE GOLEM 2019

The State of THE BLUE GOLEM 2019

Another Christmas, another dawning realization that THE BLUE GOLEM, while much improved since this time last year, still isn’t quite ready for prime time. I was really hoping that three strong drafts would be enough. It’s not. My friend Eugene Polonsky is working on his fifth draft, and he’s really good.

On one hand I’m bitterly disappointed. On the other, the novel is in MUCH better shape this year than this time last year. I have a beginning that works, I have an ending which made Linda’s jaw drop (literally), I have strong scenes scattered throughout which I’ve workshopped to the point where they’re crowd-pleasers whenever I read them. I have good stuff here. I just need to rope it all in and make it all work.

I know what I need to do. I have a handful of plot elements which I either need to pay off or move out, I’ve done one solid polishing pass but it needs at least one more good scrub, and so forth. The bones are good but the difference between an ok novel and a really good one are in the details. It took Ernest Cline ten years to horse READY PLAYER ONE into shape, and that novel was a ton of fun. I don’t expect THE BLUE GOLEM to take that long. (Please God.)

I’ll be home for a couple of weeks here during the holidays, and I continue to plug away at this, working on it most days that I don’t have something else I need to do. It’s all good work, and I’m nearing the home stretch. Every design decision makes the novel stronger, and I hope more entertaining. I’m done adding new things – I’m at the place where I’m paring things away. I have no earthly idea what the revised ETA is but the things on my ToDo list are manageable and the list gets shorter every day.

I put up an author’s website since last year and I’ve started researching novel marketing so I can hit the ground running when the novel is done. I’m slowly assembling a cartel, a launch team, and continue to learn about writing, editing, and marketing from a variety of sources, including The Story Grid (Shawn Coyne, Tim Grahl, and a host of fantastic editors), Joe Bunting’s The Write Practice (and the Write To Publish crew), and Nick Stephenson’s Your First 10,000 Readers group. I continue to haunt the writer’s webinars and network with other creatives engaged in their own creation. It is an exhilarating time to be a writer and I love the things I’m learning and the people I’m meeting and working with.

The first adventure of Clay Golem is nearing completion, (and the second is waiting in the wings!), it just won’t be, like, tomorrow. Thanks for bearing with me. I trust the Fantasy / Noir fans will find the end result worth the wait.

Johne Cook
Breezeway, WI
Christmas, 2019


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