I started work on Raven and June in earnest today. The first chapter, lovingly hand-crafted from completely new material, is complete. At least as complete as a first draft can be.
The next two chapters (maybe three) are going to be retooled from my short story “Merry Fucking Christmas.” I’ve already started that process, figuring out where I need to expand on things, and where the chapter break should be.
I strongly suspect the ending of “Merry Fucking Christmas” will not survive the transistion. This also happened when I was writing Educating Goldilocks. The end of the short story “Pump and Circumstance” was fairly different than the end of my novel. The story ended with Rob and Maricella being married, she was pregnant and having the other girls keep Rob entertained. This would have made writing Extra Credit much more difficult, so it had to change.
MFC has to change for different reasons. It was designed to be a stand-alone story. I didn’t have any concrete plans for sequels. “Raven For Lunch” was written some time later. Now I have to fix MFC to have a cleaner transition to RFL, which probably will include filling material between them.
That’s going to be some work, but I suspect I can have both short stories integrated into the novel by Friday of next week. That’s even leaving me with time to try to get encryption going on this site.
After that, I have to retool and integrate “Happy Fucking Birthday” into the novel, which looks like 3-4 chapters by itself. Then comes the unpublished story, which also needs retooling, a new key scene I came up with, and then integration into the novel. That could be another 3-5 chapters.
After that, it’s all new material for the end of the second act on through the end of the book.
This really could be my longest novel to date. But I still think I can finish it by the end of February. I could be delusional.
Wish me luck!