I just finished writing the twelfth and final chapter Aronnax.
I’ve been working on this since the end of July, and for the first six chapters, it was one chapter a week. This week, I was on vacation, so starting on Tuesday, I wrote every day. They were never overly long chapters. The complete story is somewhere around 12k (actually 13,440, plus notes I intend to include in a future print edition) words, generously considered a novelette, very generously a novella (I’ve published a whole string of novellas in the past five years, I should know). Not so long.
But I’m pretty happy with it.
As with a few other stories I’ve done over the years, each chapter is from a different perspective. Most of them deliberately cut off the narrative to keep the ending a secret, but the thrust of this one thing, Captain Nemo’s submarine the Nautilus, as a catalyst in disparate lives, remains at the heart of the story, I hope in effective ways. The idea, as with all the good stories, is to tell something about the human condition.
Hopefully something worthwhile.
The chapter will populate later today at Kindle Vella, and that’ll be that. I haven’t decided if I will tackle another project on the platform, a longer one (it wasn’t the original intention for Aronnax to be twelve chapters, but that ended up feeling like its natural shape), as apart from the story I’ve been writing once a month every month this year (I will have to play catch-up next weekend as I took up last month’s slot with Aronnax) I really haven’t told a full-length story in ages, and I have yet to find the courage to begin tackling Collider (maybe next month’s week-long vacation!).
But it always feels nice to work on a story, and to finish it. With this one the original goal was to retell Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea without Nemo, or Nemo minimized, or Nemo contextualized. I think I accomplished that.