July Camp is here, which means another bout of Writing. For better or for worse. Which I thought would make a good topic for the beginning of this month: talking about my goals and what people might be seeing from me in the future. Perhaps ideas for the rest of the year!
I have made a plan for my Spears series. Spear’s Sacrifice started out as a stand alone novel. Of course, as all good stories, she changed a lot since then and now has evolved into another novel. Or two (I’ll keep length of series under my hat for now).
This isn’t a surprise. The tagline on this blog is “Writing drabbles to relieve the pressure of the epic novel expanding in my head” after all. I wish I could Write a stand alone novel and not feel this need to elucidate on anything. The ability to Write an arc that actually finishes and ties up as nicely as it should. I will still work on that.
But the other thing I want to work on is actually finishing a series.
As any author who likes to Write epics can tell you, we can Write in these stories forever. Will they end? Who knows! And many of my friends would prefer to have it finished, because it seems the only people I know who Write only one at a time and publish long series are authors with publishers who tell them when they need to have books out. Everyone who chooses “when” always wants to have everything done first.
This is the camp I fall in. Because when you are forging ahead, you want to make sure you don’t come up with something wonderful that then doesn’t make any sense with the start. You threw in some random detail that was just supposed to make the world more realistic. It didn’t mean much more at the time other than creating gravity – but now it means this really cool idea you can up with can’t work unless you make it less cool or more convoluted… Something like that.
Not everyone is a J.J.R. Tolkien, who can rewrite the Hobbit to make sense of the One Ring, while calling the first edition of the Hobbit the “story Bilbo told the others when he was lying about how he got the Ring”. I mean, I love that sort of thing, but that definitely doesn’t work in all situations. I don’t think I could pull that off. I’m not sure I want to. Mainly because how often can the one thing that needs to be changed be so specific like that and make so much sense as an “unreliable narrator”.
The problem with Writing everything first is obvious. It takes forever before you put anything out. You don’t get the same sort of feedback. You don’t get practice with the process. And we have too many perfectionists. Fixing things. Forever.
It’s time to throw something forward. Work it through. Figure it out. Just do it.
A fine line to step, between those two things. Fortunately, it’s only a fine line for it to be absolutely perfect (and who actually hits that line?). There is a great expanse of space between those two things. How much one might Write before moving forward. How much one might plan, which books you might go forward with and let that speak for the foundations of the rest of the world from that point onward. You are forced into staying in your initial version.
Does that mean you miss out on some better idea which could come out of things if the author left themselves that open path?
No. Because I’ve learnt that coming up with something interesting within certain confines means more work and more focus. Something even more interesting.
Then more progress. If you are pushing yourself.
Writing is all about creative flow, after all. And things aren’t always flowing, so sometimes you have to work to keep the creativity going.
That seems like moving off into another topic, so I’ll cut it there. What was I saying?
Right, this month I’m working on the Spears series. Because the next one should be published before the end of the year. Hopefully sooner than not? Maybe I could publish that and another book before the end of the year. But if I’m to do that, I’d better get a move on.
And in other words, I’m finally on Twitter! Figured I would put myself out there. If you’d like to follow me, go ahead. If you talk about anything at all, do so so I can follow you. I find myself interested in a great deal many things and the more people I read from, the wider I let my expanse become.
Now hopefully I won’t let my brain fall out by opening my mind too much.