Updating my work in progress: “Dead Man’s Land”

Months ago I wrote a blog post called “Sequel For me like a pig” in which I informed the world and sundry (or at least the eight people who read this blog) that I was working on another novel.

Dead Man’s Land (working title) is not so much a sequel as the next story set in the paranormal/steampunk universe I created in my first novel Carpathia.

Finishing a chapter today (Sept. 10, 2012) put me just north of 117,000 words, with a bit more plot to go before wrapping it up. I had envisioned the story taking about 90,000 words and being out by Halloween of this year, but I will likely be wrong on both counts.

DML is set in 1916 France and England during what we would consider World War I, but of course to the characters it is simply “the war.” An event occurring late in Carpathia becomes the central plotline as the war has become a costly stalemate and each side begins looking for unusual ways to break the deadlock.“Unusual?” you may ask. “What do you mean by that?”

Well, considering the vampire prince and his shapeshifter servants in Carpathia wanted to create a nation for undead creatures … it would be safe to assume there will be some undead creatures. 🙂

There will also be lots of airships and some other machines created by the combatants to break that deadlock in the trenches. Once again, the tone I’m going for is less “monsters” and more in the tradition of the Indiana Jones movies, with action, adventure and some thrills that just happen to include paranormal elements like vampires, werewolves and zombies.

As I wrote above, my original goals for words and release date are no longer realistic. Obviously I need to finish the rough draft, which I hope to do in the next week, but after that will be a lengthy period of review and editing/re-writing. Unlike Carpathia, I’ve stopped and started many times while writing DML, so I know the tone is uneven and the various plot lines will need work.

My revised estimate for Dead Man’s Land to hit the sales rack at Amazon is early in 2013, which would be about a year after Carpathia. I won’t hazard to guess the final length, but 130,000 words will probably finish the rough draft.

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