I’ve certainly written novel-length stories before. 60K is a challenge at first, and then you write something far better and nearly twice as long in half the time. Just have to get dedicated folks that want to read them, so they can tell you what you did right or failed at. But many of my projects have never started past the setup phase. And the challenge is finishing them without having some niggling esoteric problem with it that makes me stop writing. I’m disappointed you didn’t provide details yourself on what you were writing.
What are they about?
Let’s just start with the most recent one I actually attempted to make any progress on. It was called “Dr.Apparition And The Precipice Of Thorns”, it was effectively a supernatural mystery novel that was a dark satire of Sherlock Holmes. (It would’ve been a series that got progressively darker and a satirical deconstruction of the mystery genre itself.) But I’m awful at pitches, but I’ll do my best brief elaboration of the first story. (Or at least the beginning of it.)
In a world where most magic is considered long dead and humans are the predominant species, all crimes are watched over by a grim-reaper deity that instantly knows the location, identity and culprit of every dead body and swiftly punishes murderers with death. But when the deity discovers a new body hidden far below the edge of a precipice in a bottomless pit of thorny vines, he mysteriously loses the ability to instantly identify the culprit and is terrified of what chaos that could lead to. So he resorts to blackmailing the only person the world that has any magical abilities, an egotistical Plague Doctor that creates special elixirs. He’s also one of the few with the capabilities of pulling the body out, since he purposely mutated himself into anthropomorphized crow. And it only gets crazier from there...
How long have you been working at it?
Unfortunately, I only really did it for National Writing Month, last november. I got about 25,000 words in, after about two weeks of writing? Not exactly constantly typing away, since I become distracted and disinterested far too easily.
What do you think about your story stands out?
I try to do something interesting that I haven’t personally done before. I don’t usually do satire and comedy as a focus in my fiction. So it was an experiment to have fun and not take anything seriously. I’ll admit I don’t read enough ‘supernatural comedy mysteries’ to know what stands out in particular. But the first one wasn’t especially going to try doing much in terms of standing out. But it might’ve gone way out there, if I continued.
From the fiction I do read? (And most of what I do read nowadays is unpublished/online.) For at least some of it, generally more effort put into the sentences artful. I have read a lot of mysteries and many of them are written very mundanely, since many of them are very down to earth, but also with elaborate detail. I don’t think I’ve seen one be made so ironically easy for the wanna-be ‘detective’ characters for comedic effect in the way mine was going for. I also selfishly adore all of my very stupid naming puns and character interactions. (I’m always uncertain of how funny I am or not. But I take pride that I’ve had three friends nearly choke to death in laughter.)
What are you finding most challenging?
It’s always something different, but for this story specifically...
Oddly enough, it’s something I thought I’d conquer and could still reasonably overcome, the uncertainty of knowing if the mystery is too obvious or too obtuse to the reader? The whole point is that the mystery goes pretty smoothly for them, since the duo are in conflict and both aren’t detectives by any means. (But there’s also a deeper story purpose to this, that I hadn’t gotten far enough in to elaborate yet.) So even though it’s part of the point, I started getting concerned with how fast paced the story was going and I stopped to consider if I should add more to it.
Then life happened and I never really got back to it. And unlike most of my stories, I haven’t really took a deep look at it, or had anyone try to critically analyze it yet.
I’m currently considering writing something else entirely, closer to my preferred way of storytelling, but I’m sure this is long enough...