Today is my last day of grace, for starting tomorrow my word bank dips into the red. If I hold off to begin writing my February novel on Feb 1st, I’ll be -7,000 in the hole. Which isn’t a problem, it just adds urgency to my quest to figure out the angles and approach on novel #2.

This is most definitely the kind of book in which I could become lost in the research. Learn about life in the middle ages, learn about the history of habitation and travel across the Swiss Alps, spend time researching the nature of tribal societies such as the Beduin, the ancient Mongolians, the Apache. Create a complex web of political alliances, spend time fashioning the three great Orcish confederacies, and then untold days putting together a detailed outline for how the novel was meant go. I’m telling you, I could easily pour weeks into this research.

But I’m glad I won’t. The novel will be a simpler thing without it, but it will get written. I’ve discovered that too much research kills my enthusiasm for writing the novel. It’s as if I get to live vicariously through the research the pleasure I normally experience while writing the book, such that when it’s time to sit down and get started the idea seems stale, flat, and profitless. I hadn’t anticipated this advantage of First Million Words, but there it is.

As for the novel itself: it is to be dark fantasy, probably the first half of a duology, greatly influenced by the formation of the Mongolian empire under Genghis Khan and written while under the influence of Cormac McCarthy. It will focus on orcs, and thus won’t be everybody’s cup of tea, but after the emotional intensity of One by One I think it should be a welcome change of pace and an homage to my childhood years spent playing Warhammer.

Now I just need a good title. Too bad Blood Meridian is already taken.