I’m now well over 130 pages into the revised and improved version of Darkness Comes to Kingswell, but I’m afraid I have to admit the name will change. To what? I’m not sure yet. That title was fine for a short story posted here and created in relative haste. It is, however, too dreary for a novel. Hell, I’d even call it unexceptional leaning toward uninteresting. Once I decide on the new appellation, I’ll pass it along.
Also, I’ve decided the beginning needs to recede a bit in time. I’m not talking too much; it’ll be measured only in hours. I suspect it’ll start the morning before darkness comes and will give me tremendous room for the vast improvements I want to do. The original started in the late afternoon but doesn’t allow the space for maneuvering I’d like in order to make it what it should be. I only need a bit of wiggle room and can gain that by starting about 36 hours before the story ends (note that the entire thing takes place in less than two days, but that’s tempered by the flashbacks I’m using to make Beth a main character and to more fully explore the impact of her death on Dave [plus how that plays into the story itself]). I’m also using the additional time to enable a bit of darkness to seep in earlier in the narrative. It’s not going to be obvious except to those who read the original, and it’s going to play well with the premise of a first-person account from someone with Dave’s history (hence the need to explore a bit more of his relationship with Beth and how her death affected him). I won’t say how you’ll get that early taste of darkness; just know it kicks off the tale, much unlike the original version, and does so in a way that dangles a savory carrot in front of the reader. Or at least I hope it does/will.
All of that to say this: I probably won’t talk about the book anymore aside from letting you in on the new title when I come up with it. Okay, I’ll also mention when I’m done with it and start work on getting it published. Oh, and I might mention if I actually get it published and when you can find it in bookstores. But that’s it! No more, so stop asking.
I’m really excited about how it’s developing. I’ve significantly improved the ending where I felt I’d gone batshit crazy with zealotry. I think the characters (especially Dave and Beth) are becoming palpable in a literary sense. Most importantly, the darkness will play a bigger role, I think, both in the ethereal and real worlds. At least I hope so.
Barring unforeseen circumstances and interruptions to the flow, I think I’ll have the final draft ready by early next year, will follow that with one last pass through it, and should be ready to delve into attempts to get it published no later than spring (that’s three months long, so I’m giving myself some padding there, you realize…). I’m also being generous with how much time I’ll have between now and then to work on it given my search for gainful employment and how a job will affect my progress.
By the way, Kingswell has already gained some additional stories to be developed once this one is finished. Like their predecessor, rather mundane things inspire them (mostly), although from time to time something larger grabs my attention and spins off some new tale. As I’ve said before, even the simplest things give my brain a kick in the ass and help turn some trivial detail of life into grandiose accounts of some fictional place during a fictional time with really interesting fictional events.
So let me finish with this final admission. Darkness Comes to Kingswell was wholly inspired by the approach of a thunderstorm. All it took was watching dark clouds roil and billow toward, over, and away from me as the storm developed, formed, and finally exploded overhead. Here’s a photo of that storm (which has been on my desktop since then to keep reminding me of what I felt that day). From the picture’s perspective, the storm was moving top-right to bottom-left. You can tell how it kept getting darker and darker as it approached. Need I say more?