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  • Writer's pictureG R Matthews

A Good Day To Die

On the 6th August, 2018, whilst on holiday and intending to edit my 8th book (now called Rivers of Song and Shadow (RSS) - it was SwordMaster), I was suddenly struck by a chapter and an idea for a new book.

Being firm of mind and purpose, I promptly put RSS to one side and wrote that first chapter, and then the next, and the next. On 30th September, in the afternoon, I finished the last chapter for a total of 99,987 words - which might set some of my OCD friends nerves on edge.

4,838,400 seconds (56 days) from start to finish of draft 1. A Good Day To Die (the title may change) was done. I’m really hoping it is worthwhile and that people will enjoy reading it when it finally sees the light of day (eReader etc).

So just over 2k words a day which was easy while I was holiday. After visiting a local town, the beach or a game of tennis, we’d return to the house and the kids would watch Netflix or Youtube, my wife would talk to her family and I would sit in a quiet corner and bash out a thousand words or more. In the evening, after being swimming, having a meal, the same would happen. In those two weeks I cracked through more words than I have before and managed to keep a good writing regime up when I returned home.

And then work returned, or rather I returned to work… and the word count dropped like a Lemming off a cliff (they don’t actually do this… I looked it up!). No longer could I write the same amount every day, and tiredness set in. However, the back of the book was broken and I ploughed on the best I could.

Within two months, a complete draft of a novel. Not too bad if I do say so myself.

If I am being honest, and there is little point lying, I didn’t start from scratch. What I mean is, I had the world developed before the first chapter appeared in my head. RSS is set in the same world so a lot of the background was done, Indeed, the events of RSS appear in this new book as rumours and news from afar.

I had the maps of Aeledyfr, the country in the north, where RSS happens. I had a lot of background worked out prior to writing RSS and during that I only added more. I had maps of the Six Kingdoms drawn alongside copious notes of culture, religion, magic and history as well as weather patterns (I am Geographer after all). More than that, I had the email from an agent - the one who’d requested a Full MS of RSS and though it was a rejection it was encouraging, contained some real ego boosting praise and a tip or two for the new book.

This means I now have three completed books…

Last Winter Sun in need of another read through now the months have passed, a tidy up, some additions and tweaks.

RSS - redrafting one PoV to bring that character a little more to life and give them more agency.

A Good Day to Die - draft one done and it needs a read through, an edit and being sent off to some readers.

And I’ve just had an idea for a new book… when will it end?

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