Saturday 4th April 2020

There’s not a whole lot of writing going on over the last few days.  Instead, I’ve been buried in videogames.

This is often my recharge time.  I find I naturally go into periods of massive narrative consumption before I write.  I’ve likened it to recharging a mana bar.  I need to absorb myself with others’ stories before I get bored and feel the need to create my own.

I’m a little flexible on current plans at the moment.  I had intended to write a new book, just to do something fresh, but the change in the world over the last couple of weeks has thrown me off that a little.  Instead, the current feeling is that I want to redraft book 2 in the Shade Knight.

But just because I’m consuming media rather than creating doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about it.  Here’s where my head is at:

I’m very much thinking about theme and how I want to draw that out more in this book.  I’m taking a lot of influence from that Youtube video I shared a couple of days ago.  I’d say the first draft is 80% of the way there, the main focus being the first antagonist in the chain.

And that’s where I think the main work needs to be done on this redraft.  It’s around the 20-40% mark.  A lot of it is the tone but it’s also resolving that whole Batman vs Bruce Wayne argument I made the other day.  Any changes I make are going to be felt most in this part of the manuscript.

I’m also thinking very vaguely about the 3rd book.  I know 2 of the antagonists and one already has a pretty strong narrative arc.  I’m wondering if I can extrapolate any theme from that, which I can then feed into the other antagonists and build a solid synopsis.  This is a little different for me, as I normally write something and then work out what the theme was afterwards.  But I want to keep growing as a writer so I’d be worried if each book was an identical process to write.

Instead, I think of it more like an MMO  (probably because that’s what I’m playing currently).  You write a book a bit like levelling a character.  Now you could level an alt and because you know the process, it’s quicker and easier.  But if instead you want to level through a new expansion and improve, there are new game mechanics to learn, new challenges to overcome.

Part of the reason I’m thinking about book 3 is because I want to foreshadow a little in book 2.  I want to set things up.  I have a huge overarching story plan a few have heard – and they love it, so I know it’s good, but if I’m able to write all the books I want… then we’re still very much in the establishing phase.

So whilst I know future characters, and how the pieces move around the chessboard,  I want to know what specifically I need to set up in book 2 to have a pay off in book 3.  I love those books where you read a scene and realise things have been set up books ago, and on a minor scale, there’s chance to do a little of that here.

Either way, all this is going on in the back of my head, whilst I recharge with a ridiculous amount of World of Warcraft.  I suspect there will be a few conclusions and personal revelations coming my way over the next couple of days… but all I really need to do is – weirdly – not think too much about it.

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