novel the third.

Last Friday, I finished the manuscript for ANGLES OF ATTACK, the third novel in the Frontlines series. 

<insert tired “Hooray”>

Now it’s going to go through the editorial ministrations, and after all the bumps and potholes are fixed, there’ll be the usual publisher magic done to it. I’ll share the release date as soon as my publisher sets one.

I have a modest little splurge tradition going that I may have borrowed from Elizabeth Bear and tweaked for my own purposes. Every time I finish a novel, I buy myself a nice fountain pen. (Bear buys hers when she sells a novel, i think.) Then I use the new pen to start on the next novel. For TERMS OF ENLISTMENT, I got a Lamy 2000. For LINES OF DEPARTURE, it was a Pilot Vanishing Point. And for ANGLES OF ATTACK, it’s this one, which just arrived in the mail:

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That’s a Pelikan M600 “Souverän” in green, with a medium 14k nib. These are to fountain pens what a Benz is to automobiles—solid, traditional, high-quality, and a bit of a luxury. (It’s a modest luxury compared to a new Benz, to be sure.)

I didn’t write ANGLES in longhand like I usually do. Because of the close deadline (which I still managed to overshoot by, uh, LET’S NOT SPEAK OF IT EVER), I had no time for transcribing all the longhand, so I had to write everything straight into the computer, using my MacBook Pro, a Das Keyboard, and trusty Scrivener. 

These last three months have been a bit challenging. Writing is not really hard on the body, but every time I finish a book, I feel like I’ve lifted a dump truck using just my frontal lobe. In addition to the regular mental strain of cranking out 100,000 words of fictional fiction, it has been noisy around the house for the last few months because of the various projects we need to get dome before icy death sets in for another six months. I’ve spent a lot of time out of the house to avoid the hammering, clanging, banging, and dog barking, and I’ve stayed up late a lot. When I turned the novel in, I felt even more drained than I usually do. The next day, I slept until noon and was still tired, and it took me about three days to get back to a regular sleep pattern. So yeah, writing can be hard work—just not the kind where you get blisters on your hands and come home covered in coal dust. But making up stuff all day for months on end can wear the body out in surprising ways.

Anyway, now I am going to reset my brain with video games and other leisurely pursuits for a week or three, and then I’ll ink up the fancy new pen and get started on the next novel. 

28 thoughts on “novel the third.

  1. Congratulations! Your new opus is being eagerly awaited here.

    Enjoy your well-earned rest and recharge the batteries.

    Best of luck to you!

      • That great! II first found you through Adible recommendations, so knowing that the Audible version will be out quickly is super good news. So much happy dance and anticipatory gurgles ans squeaks. Thank you sir and congratulations!

  2. My everyday pen is a Pilikan 200 Demonstrator. Great pens. I absolutely love the flexibility of the nib. Writes smooth as silk. Unfortunately, being on Social Security means, no 600 for me.

  3. Congrats on finishing the novel. I commend anybody who finishes ANYTHING, considering I have four or five unfinished screenplays languishing in my laptop. I usually snag myself a fountain pen whenever I get a decent tax return. Top marks on the M600. I have the green version in the M800. In hindsight, I should have gone for the 600, since it’s a better size for long-range writing. Ah well, next time. Or whenever I finish a script.
    Congrats again!

  4. yay!!! I’ve been hoping for another in the series, and there’s not much else out now that interests me so I was getting…antsy! ty also for the insight into the process and life-as-writer. Fun books, I’m quite the fan.

  5. Congrats! As many others have already said, “i can’t wait!”

    Now, kick back relax and play some Destiny.

  6. Keep Going..I know it sounds “fan boy”selfish but it is way beyond that..The momentum you mustered,the intensity you conjured with may not be totally finished….Sometimes the end of the road need’s a new interstate..And Hell,,if the equipment is still gassed up and the wheels are ready to roll…Who am i to say “Don’t Plow Ahead”,,,,Locked and Loaded

  7. Marko, Do you find your product is different when you write by hand vs. writing on via keyboard? I do technical writing, and when I’ve used a voice-to-text program I find that my product has a very different voice, then when I do my first draft on a keyboard. I’ve never experimented with handwriting my product, but I imagine a similar thing might occur.

  8. Just finished Terms and Lines. All I can say is … ausgezeichnet! Can’t wait till Angles.

    I’m particularly impressed by the authenticitity of the American military jargon & dialog. I also find your personal story very interesting, having spent my formative years as an army brat in Deutschland way back in the 60s … I have many fond memories of the land and people. Fortunately (for me) before I left, I wised up enough to learn how to to make friends outside of the amerikanische ghetto.

    Probably one of the more important experiences of my wayward youth was being abruptly upbraided by the random German adult whenever I was obviously misbehaving. Always intended to educate. A part of our culture that is now all but lost.

  9. Geoffry — I suspect the answer to your question is that even Lankeys can’t just up and destroy a chute gate because those things are some kind of bizarro cosmic phenomena beyond all ken … they’re just kinda “there” and they ain’t goin nowhere.

    But I defer to the author.

    Actually, I’m hoping we get some kind of “science” on the chute thingy.

  10. I also found you through Audible recommendations after reading Old Mans War (I’m a Scalzi fan as well). Read (listened) to both your books in the series (finished the second one this morning) and was really hoping there was a third in the works. Very glad to see I won’t have to wait too long. Excellent!