With the edit to A Circle of Shadows winding down, I’ve found myself in a strange new position. A chance to write something new. A moment to consider a new story, a new series. Endless possibilities usually invites boundless enthusiasm, a swell of creativity and this is no exception to the rule.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been supercharged, jotting down notes like mad on things I never had time to consider previously. Larger scale epics, space operas, serialized fiction.
But what is the right choice? Which of these unknown destinations is the one that will carry me – and by extension, my lovely readers – to the next great book?
Taking a step back.
It’s difficult to do. Finishing Greystone has been like running a marathon. You’re exhausted but so jazzed by the accomplishment you can’t wait for that rush again. That surge in your brain to keep writing, to keep creating new and exciting stories.
I’m trying to fight that urge right now.
Yes, I’m brimming with ideas, concepts to challenge myself and new characters I can’t wait to have a chat with as they tell me their story. If there is one thing Greystone taught me, however, is that planning is key to success.
I went into the world of Portents with a mission. Five books, each of which had a goal in mind even prior to the writing process. It offered me a guide as I went about constructing the narrative in detail.
Some people look at that as cheating, that it takes the creativity out of the journey.
Not me. I thrive on the planning.
Where I went wrong…
I was ready to rush into the next project. I even had it on the schedule for this month to outline and script.
Then I wrote The Last Outpost.
It was a learning experience to say the least. I went into it like a bull in a china shop and it shows in the draft. Instead of following my process I jumped into the script. Instead of answering questions at that point as I typically do, thanks to time constraints I flew through the draft.
Maybe it was because the story was a standalone and didn’t have to set up anything else. Maybe it was because it was another idea that had been hiding out in my brain so long that I thought I knew everything.
Only I didn’t.
Don’t get me wrong, the book was something I wanted to write for years. The story is spot on. Part sci-fi, part horror. Everything I loved about the genres mashed together.
But it was rushed. I won’t deny that. I wanted it written so I went for it.
The draft needs work. A ton of work. The narrative is there, however, and for me that was what I needed in that moment.
But going forward? Yeah, it is time to take a step back.
So what comes next?
I have a plan. It grows more with each day. With each note, with each thought, comes clarity. I’m not rushing this. After the last two years of living and breathing all things Greystone it’s nice to discover new things.
It’s going to be great though. You can count on that.
Come back next week to see how I’m making sure the next series starts off on the right foot.
Thanks for reading.