As I write this, I'm around 17,000 words into a 20,000 word (proposed) novella. The roughs for chapters 1 through 7 are done, I've started into chapter 8, and it's looking like I'll be about 12 chapters overall.
So, what's it about? It's a backstory, and a premise for another character.
Much of what I'm writing revolves around my Frankie Falawell series. In that series, I have a group of "bad guys" that show up in book 1 and in book 3. These are a group I originally called the Gorgralath, though that name I have removed from the books for technical reasons. They are mysterious entities, assumed to be under the command and control of the Demon King (they are not).
My first stab at this novella involved the pursuit of an antagonist known only as The Prophetess. She was the head of a bloody cult, whose expansion was subsequently countered by an armed allied force. The story itself took place after the war was essentially over. The task of the main character was to find and slay The Prophetess.
The character of The Prophetess was among the number of the Gorgralath in the Frankie Falawell series. She is not called by name, but a brief mention of her is given in the account of a minor character in book 3. She also has a lover, who is also mentioned in book 3 as well.
While there were elements of this story that I liked, it - frankly - was nothing but a bunch of action scenes connected by dialog. By the time I got to a second side-character in the story, it was clear to me that I was just plowing ahead with a story for the sake of plowing ahead with a story. So, I dumped it. I had a bunch of great characters, but the story was just plain lacking.
The new story, however, provides a peek into the backstory of one of these Gorgralath who appear in the current book I am pitching. Called The King of Bones or Lord of Bones, the title is a bit of a placeholder. He is an Easterner who fought on the side of evil in the first great war. I don't want to go into too much detail, because I really don't want to give away too much from the book.
The Gorgralath, in my first iteration of the Frankie Falawell story, were your standard minions of the Demon King. You know, my version of the Nazgul. However, as my lore has evolved, so has the function of the Gorgralath. They are now a bit of an enigma, though I have plans for them in later books. However, their existence is part of the running concept in my head about people who were, in one form or another, seduced by evil. The King of Bones is sort of the prototype of the first Gorgralath as well as being the most powerful. Overall, however, these individuals are tied to the Cult of the Four, something that I will be writing more about as time goes on.
Likewise, the main character in this book is also a prototype of a different character, whose story I've been working on in my head for a few months. My intention is to write a series of novellas with this character in it.
So...seven chapters in with five more to go. I'll provide more details at a later date.