Overrun with Ideas
I mentioned yesterday in my post at the Guild of Dreams that I was working on three WIP at once. I never thought that was something I would or could do.
I’m serious about that. When I first hooked up with the indie author scene (Wow, that sounds so cool. Jazz clubs, low lights, drinks, and intense characters…), I heard about writers with multiple WIP going at the same time while blogging, marketing, and holding down a job. I was having a difficult time simply writing and keeping my job trudging along in a safe direction. Marketing was beyond me. I wasn’t blogging regularly. My writing career consisted of a lot of love held together with tape. It was tenuous.
And it fell apart a few times. I won’t deny it.
I went through spates where I didn’t write a word. Lets not revisit the months where I didn’t blog or market my book. No surprise I didn’t rack up a single sale. When I did finally get around to writing, I lost half my manuscript in a bad back-up. Which oddly was the boot I needed to get my act together (I’m wired wrong. Ask my husband.). You can read more about that in this previous post at the Guild of Dreams.
Around February, all the months of watching successful and active authors finally congealed. I started blogging. More than that, I started blogging about elemental magic and aspects of my book. Promotion started making sense to me. Not only why do I need to talk about my writing, but how and where. Yeah! I published Rule of Fire, book 2 of my epic fantasy series. I really, really thought I was done writing for summer. Time to move on to house building.
Yeah, well, the best laid plans…. Oh, I’m building the house. No getting out of that project at this point! Just finished the built-in bed in the bedroom. Its awesome. No I mean the vacation from writing. You see, it started when I was wrapping up book 2. I wanted to include the first three chapters for the final book in the series. So I had to write them. In the space of that week while thinking about the story, all of the diverse plot lines congealed. The little hanging twists that I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with fell into place. I suddenly had the outline for the entire novel. More than that, I was itching to write it.
This is about the time I said, “um, honey, about that summer off from writing…”
Actually, it didn’t really start there. You see, while Rule of Fire was at the editor, I meant to pick up a few books to read. But after months of writing and then intense editing, I didn’t feel like being fully absorbed in anything but life. I got out my motorcycle, went hiking, but eventually did find myself with writing journals spread around my desk. I usually keep a journal per idea. I have a lot of journals. For some reason, my mind wanted to know what was I going to do when I finished Spirit of Life, book 3 of the series.
I decided I’d work on re-write when book 3 is complete. Originally called Deliberate Actions, the new working title is Friends of my Enemy. All the characters are fleshed out and I’m familiar with the story. It sounded like a good, solid project to tackle after three books in a series. To add to the story line, I thought it would be fun to work on some before-the-novel shorts. I came up with ideas for 9 and set about working on the first one. Happily, I finished it just as Rule of Fire came back from the editor. Which led to the ideas for book 3 mentioned above.
It turns out it is difficult to turn off ideas. For me, they don’t sit idly by and wait their turn. I’m starting to think of my story ideas like gremlins that live under the bed and don’t let me sleep or that lurk in shadows on quiet woodland paths when I’m off on other plans. I think when I walk and I take walks at lunch at work (food, hah!). As I mentioned on the post at the Guild, one day one of those idle daydreams snatched me with talons exposed, otherwise known as a great hook! Suddenly, I had an awesome story demanding to be written. Yikes!
Unlike other ideas that understood there is a time and place AND I already had two WIP, this one said no. NOW. But when I went to write it, I realized the world was too blank. I ended up world building while working on Spirit of Life and sketching out the second short story for Friends of my Enemies. When the world was done (enough), I started writing Black Throne, Black Blood.
Now I’m up to three WIP. I don’t think I can take anymore! But it feels good to know what comes next after Spirit of Life is complete. My reluctance to say goodbye to those characters has eased somewhat as I fall in with two other novels. And since I have so much going on, I hope to release some of the short stories to Friends of my Enemies and maybe even chapters to Black Throne, Black Blood over the coming months. It’ll be fun to let readers see a story develop (as long as they forgive occasional grammatical errors!). So, expect to see some of the background to each of those novels here in the coming months.
But first, I’m finishing book 3 in my current series, the Rise of the Fifth Order. Expect to see more of Spirit of Life including excerpts and more information on the world of Myrrah in the next few months!