About a week ago I finished the first draft of a new novella, Glorious Beasts. This pleases me for several reasons, not least because it's the first substantial piece of writing I've managed to finish for a few years. I've done the occassional short story, but nothing longer than 5,000 words. The novella clocks in at just over 20,000.
It's a strange beast, this one. And hopefully a glorious beast. It's set decades after a cataclysmic event that reduced the world's population by more than 50%. It feels like a western wrapped up in a horror story - there are a lot of influences in there, including Julia Leigh's The Hunter, The Road, Mad Max, The Hills Have Eyes, and the Turkish horror film Baskin.
In my head, this world-breaking event - The Plague Years - happened in the mid 1970s, well before home computers and mobile phones came into existence. I wanted to hark back to a time before social media, a more innocent time when everything wasn't splashed across the Internet. I also wanted to write a story where I didn't have to write about moden technology. I'm bored by it; I needed to bypass it for once in the plot instead of having to allow for it.
The story started off being about a man and his son climbing a hill. Then, as I wrote it, things evolved and it became the story of what was inside that hill, and what was inside the man's barren heart.
I'm about to start the second draft. I only hope I can do the story justice.