Friday, September 11, 2015

Strange Things Afoot...

So I've decided to do something weird, at least for me and whatever this writing schedule I've developed for myself is. I took the day off yesterday, since I just submitted something and wanted to give my brain a chance to recharge after all the speed-writing I've been doing. Turned out lucky, since real-life got in the way and would have kept me from it at any rate (I seriously need to rethink this writing from 10 / 11 PM until Whenever thing).

Taking a day off for me simply means  I don't get any new words down on paper. I still might work on copyedits, or brainstorm, or something like that. Yesterday, it was brainstorming the next Cochran book. I had a title already, and a couple of very basic ideas for story mostly centering on locations. As I was driving around running errands, it clicked what the main villain for the story should be. Once I got home, I started researching and then grabbed a legal pad and a pen and starting making notes. By the time it was done, I had the story in mind.

Here's the problem. I'm working on something else already. That left me with two options: either I shelve Justicar again to start on this one, or I let this one simmer till Justicar is done.

I enjoy the story I'm coming up with in Justicar. I love the world I'm using, and even know some of the theme that's running through it already. That in itself speaks volumes, since theme usually doesn't emerge until I'm rereading the first draft to make edits and changes. The problem is that Justicar is a BIG story. I don't mean length, though that may come to be as well. I mean as far as the subplots and character motivations and everything attached to it that makes it a story. It's freakin' massive! All good fantasy is, but that's a post for a different time. It's not unexpected is all I'm saying. But that weight makes writing it harder than the horror stuff I've done.

My horror stories, the Cochran tales especially, are fun. They're still firmly in horror, and they aren't really a horror-comedy, but they're just fun. I love those characters. I love that looseness in their actions. Fantasy doesn't lend itself to that very well for me. Not to say my characters in Justicar are humorless, but they're pretty rigid, just by way of the world they inhabit. Horror gives me a chance to blow off steam and not think as much as I get the story out there. Fantasy requires active thought, and a lot more attention to detail to make this world that doesn't exist feel believable and lived-in.

So I leaned towards starting the Cochran book. Then I decided to make a third option and go with that instead: I'm going to alternate.

In every book I've written, there comes a time when the writing gets hard. Either I'm not sure where the story's going, or where to start the chapter, or something along those lines. I'm at that point with Justicar. I know where they need to end up, and I know their next step, I'm just not sure how they're going to go about it yet. The characters haven't told me. That makes writing it pretty much just throwing words at the page until I figure it out. That is fun in it's own right, but it can make the writing feel too much like work and not something I'm enjoying. Therefore, I'll work on the next Cochran book for a bit. Once I hit the same point there, which I know I will eventually, I'll switch back to Justicar and work on it some more. It'll make each one take longer before they're done, but at least I won't burn myself out on either one as quickly.

I've got the first scene, and maybe the second, already in mind. Depending on how it goes getting them onto paper will tell me whether or not to continue with this idea or just go back and work on Justicar till it's done. If you see a new entry on the progress meter in the next day or so, you'll know how it went.

And now on to the storytelling!

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