I love my job. Really, I do – it’s an enormous privilege to be paid to tell stories about cool characters in the GW universes. But sometime the words don’t come easy, and the last couple of weeks have been a hard grind. I’ve been testing the patience of my editors with deadline slippage, which is never something that’s good to do (however, as ever, the support from BL has been fantastic). So, I’ve been getting my head down and wringing out the words every day this week, gradually shaping something like a story. Finally, I seem to be getting somewhere, and some recent edits have helped me see where I want to get to.
The key issue I’ve been grappling with is pace, the timing and placing of events within a novel. Black Library books are like Premier League games – they should be fast-paced and frenetic, matching the war-torn nature of their environments. But as the best recent BL novels have shown, that doesn’t mean they need to neglect the proper character and plot development that’s at the heart of all good novel-length stories. I’ve been reading a lot of the latest 40K and Heresy output to help me get immersed in the grimdark world of the far future, and I’ve got to say there’s some cracking stuff in the pipeline. It’s hugely inspirational – and also a high bar to match.
So, the work goes on. It’ll be worth the sweat and tears when the final product emerges. As I work my way into 40K, it’s been massively encouraging to see the warm reception Sword of Justice has got so far. Here’s a wonderful review from the Team Preston blog. I’ve been reading this blog for a while, and the guy knows his Warhammer, which makes a positive verdict all the more heartening.