So, it's been a while. It's been well over a year since Sherlock Returns came out. Book Four is not so much a work in progress as a work in limbo. I started it. I got about halfway through, maybe. But...
I think the problem is that all these stories, every single one, were written a long time ago. Then when I assembled them for publication, they changed. They changed a lot. I'm happy with the direction the relationships and plot have taken, but Book Four is now starting from a dramatically different place than I ever imagined. I also started listening a little too much to other people.
Writing as a hobby is such a treacherous thing. This doesn't pay the bills, this is primarily an activity I love doing and so will do to the best of my ability, and all of you lovely people seem to enjoy it, which is incredible and humbling. But I'm a selfish human being who abso-fucking-lutely thrives on praise. Whether it's my husband saying, "so you're gonna tackle that sexual tension thing, right?" or a friend of mine squeeing over "boys kissing" or another friend saying "they've got a great thing, just keep doing that" or a reviewer I respect making a point of mentioning how good I am at writing friendship between men - I'm constantly trying to address all the concerns of everyone at once, and that's shit for writing a story.
I thought Book Four was going to be a sort of Magnificent Seven sort of plot. Then it turned into a Twilight Zone-esque horror story. All I know now is that these two friends, who have been through a hell of a lot, are in this weird setting and I don't know what the plot should be.
So... fuck the plot. Book Four might wind up being a single long soap opera of a character study, but damn it, I think that's what I need. I started writing these books as a pure whim - this was an idea for characters that I loved, and they spoke to me constantly for years. Then I lost them. I want to reread the books, get reacquainted with James Watts and his friend Sherlock, and then let them explore each other and the world they find themselves in. Watts is such a great person we've seen so little of. Yeah, he narrates everything, but what do we really know about him? Sherlock's Colony past has only briefly been shown - it's a cult, folks, when it's all said and done. What does that do to a person?
My biggest struggle the past year has been trying to figure out what plot is going to fit the characters at this point in their relationship. Well, maybe there isn't one. Maybe what needs to happen is no "plot" at all. Just the plot of two men, two friends who are so much more than that, trying to survive and learn where they stand in the world, with each other, where they come from.
Anyway. I hope you stick around to see what the end result of all this ends up being. There will be an end, a result, I promise. I just don't know when it's going to happen... and I think I'm ok with that.