Sunday, March 3, 2013

Weekly Review/Preview

This past week we had a flash fiction story, "Flat Crossing" and some story notes about the writing of it.  I also continued my theme of Anthony Hope by talking about browsing at Project Gutenberg and how I am a complete fangirl of The Prisoner of Zenda.  And we had a joke about heavenly figures playing golf.

March is Mick and Casey Month

Tomorrow I will start a new, short serial: A Fistful of Divas, a Mick and Casey mystery novelette.  It is probably 8 episodes, but it might be 9, depending on whether I decide to include a certain complication or not.

This story is a favorite of mine, and an important part of the history of Mick and Casey, so I don't know why I never completed the prose version of this story.  Perhaps it was because it came at a time when I was really unhappy with where the mystery market was going and I had gone over to screenwriting and script analysis.  Or maybe it was because it looked like it was going to be a little long for the market -- and I had some thoughts of making it longer, maybe even a novel.  Whatever the reason, I never wrote it as fiction.  The only complete version of this story is a short screenplay.

The Mick and Casey series itself actually started with a screenplay -- a straight western about a gun-totin' teenaged girl -- and this story was spawned by one line from that story: Casey's father bemoans the fact that since she married Mick, she was unlikely to ever see the inside of an opera house.

Now, in those days, most settled towns had something they called an "opera house." It was usually an actual house, or more like a small church, with a large main room where plays, recitals and lectures could take place.  So even though it wasn't exactly what Casey's father had in mind, Mick and Casey have made a hobby of visiting opera houses whenever they find them... but they never have actually heard an opera or anything like it.

Now, in A Fistful of Divas, they just might get their first chance to hear a pair of honest-to-goodness divas sing... if the ladies don't get scared away by a hired gun shooting at them.  Who hired him and why?  That has to be resolved before the fat lady will agree to sing.

In the meantime, since I'm working on this serial, I'll be pulling together another go at the next Mick and Casey novel, Devil in a Blue Bustle, in hopes of finishing it by the end of March.  (And I'm scheduling a short hiatus from the blog in early April to be sure I'll get this done.)

No Illustrations

I have decided not to do illustrations for A Fistful of Divas the way I've done for the other serials.

This is because there is something about an established series -- we get a picture of the characters in our heads.  Illustrations tend to clash with it.  While I have gotten a lot better at character illustration, I know I cannot match my picture of Mick and Casey.

(Also, I'm afraid to say that I see that world from inside Mick's head, so I have no idea what he really looks like.  He's got dust colored hair and blue eyes and he's maybe big enough to be intimidating when he has to -- that's all I know.)

Instead of illos, I'll have a series "cover" or banner.  It might change from episode to episode, but only because I will work on it to improve it.

Coming Up This Week

Monday: A Fistful of Divas, episode 1

Tuesday: Announcements - Read An Ebook Week Sale at Smashwords
I've got several novels at 75% off  this week, and both of my novellas are free.  Also a previews of some upgraded covers.

Wednesday: Character Structure - Zenda and Fiction as Myth
Plot structure isn't the only place to find meaning in a story.  Sometimes you can look at it the way you look at folk tales and dreams.

Thursday: A Fistful of Divas, Episode 2

Friday: Death and Rebirth of Reading
What has happened to my reading habits over the past 20 years -- something I think has happened to a lot of people.  Especially writers.

See you in the funny papers.


Kyra said...

Hooray! I just discovered the Mick and Casey stories, and so far I've read two short stories, the novella, and just finished Have Gun Will Play, and was hoping to find more! I'm working on a fantasy-western series with an unlikely couple as the main characters, and I was delighted to come across another take on genre-bending westerns starring a husband-and-wife team. Looking forward to reading Fistful of Divas!

The Daring Novelist said...

Thanks, Kyra! Always glad to find a new Mick and Casey fan.

I am sorry it takes me so long between stories. I developed a whole lot of material a long time ago, but I was forced to slow down by the realities of the publishing industry. Now I have to make a little extra effort to recapture the "touch" when I work on them.

All the same, I can't wait to get to work on these so I can start in on "A Dark and Dusty Night."

The Daring Novelist said...

Oh, and fantasy/westerns -- it's funny how those genres mesh, especially these days with all the interest in Steampunk.

Good luck with it!

Anonymous said...

Thanks! I'm having lots of fun with it.

Kyra said...

oops, sorry, that was me, I didn't mean to post anonymously, I was trying to post from my mobile device.

The Daring Novelist said...


That would have been an odd response if it hadn't been you!

And I just got the first episode done and hit "publish." It will appear at 8am EST on Monday.