This morning was a bit of a nothing morning really. With the Christmas book being left alone for a few weeks and not wanting to start yet on the next major project (Benjamin Forrest 5) I tried to get into the ongoing fifth Slim Hardy book.
It didn't go particularly well, although I got 300 words or so, which is about my daily average for these. Since I started them in August 2017 with no expectations at all, I've published four, so at two books a year it's not going bad for a supposed side project. The problem is that they've been rather more successful than I expected and the pressure has really grown to make this one awesome. Some of my books are plotted - Benjamin Forrest 2, for example, started out as two sides of A4 and with few variations came out exactly as I'd planned - but I purposely don't plan these books at all, neither do I write them very fast, in order that as much goes on in my head as it does on the page. I generally start out with a few key ideas I want to incorporate (it's hard to share these without giving away plot details but one of Clockmaker's, for example, was that I wanted to have automatons in it, while Games Keeper was supposed to have identical triplets (never happened, so not sure what happened there!). Angler's Tale's key points included being set in Dartmouth (I didn't even realise Agatha Christie had once lived nearby until way after I'd started, but of course I have to shoehorn that in somewhere) and that I wanted mermaids in it. Okay, it's not really a spoiler, because 40,000 words in I'm still not sure whether there will be any in it or not. There might be, that's all I can say, but its evolving all the time.
I think that the problem is that for the first time, I'm generally concerned about writing a turkey. People have expectations of these books, more than they might have of others. People told me that the fifth Crow book was underwhelming and that's maybe okay because no one really reads that series and I just wanted to get it finished (I actually quite like that book, by the way, although I think Castle of Nightmares might be the best, closely followed by Circus of Machinations, which I maintain is an excellent SF which can be read as a standalone, even though its sells practically nothing). But anyway.
I don't care much about reviews because everyone will have a different opinion and some people will hate something that everyone else loved. Moby Dick is considered a classic, but I think it's a turd spread over 530 pages. And while general opinion is that The Beastmaster is one of the worst movies ever made, it was a mainstay of my childhood. And I was the kid who walked around school with a box of Slade tapes being relentlessly ridiculed, five years before Noel Gallagher said they were cool and it became okay to like them.
So, if there's the odd hater, I won't care that much, but the longer I write this book the more I fear that it's going to suck and it'll derail the series completely. Mind you, I thought that about Slow Train, and several people have said it was the best book yet. Others have said it showed I was slacking off, but you know, averages and all that.
Anyway, I'm rambling now. Back to the grind.