orcs and steampunk

The Novel, Slow but Steady Progress by Matthew Marchitto

I’ve been slowly chipping away at what I’ve only referred to as The Novel for a while now. I started writing it way back in 2017, but really it probably started in 2016 with The Book of Jewels. The Novel takes place in the same world, but the technology has been up-jumped to a steampunky version of the early 1900s. The core conceit started as a very self-indulgent “steampunk with orcs!” bellowed from the depths of Wouldn’t That Be Cool. But it’s evolved beyond that, having Hrusk—our half-orc half-gnome main character—butt heads with weapon manufacturers and corrupt authority figures. All while swinging swords and shooting bolters.

The book is tentatively titled A Tusk too Many.

I think it’s getting close to being done. I’m currently rewriting the final chapter, and then I’m going to go through the whole manuscript to make a bunch of little changes here and there. After that I think it’ll be done. Then the question is, what do I do with it?

I’d considered putting it out on submission and trying to get a literary agent, and maybe I still will. But something about the story feels off, I don’t know if it’s the plot or the characters or what. And the thing is that wherever this loose doohickey is that’s messing with the story’s guts, I can’t seem to find it. It might need a total rewrite. Like, start with a new blank page kind-of-rewrite. Ultimately, I think there’s a good chance I’m going to end up trunking it.

So why finish? Why keep writing it if I know it’s tittering on a knife’s edge, likely to end up in the digital equivalent of a dusty attic? Because I believe in the idea of finish your shit. It’s important to go through the whole process from beginning to end, there’s a lot to be learned by simply doing. And I think I’ve already learned a lot writing this book, hopefully that’ll make the next one better.