Thursday 11th March 2020
Whilst I like to think I’ve been cautious in my plans, much of my recent frustration has been about knowing about the fate of the book. If it had got picked up, I would have started building up a Youtube channel. I had planned to do some videos on productivity tools and tactics for writers, possibly then moving into areas to do with craft (more discussion with other writers than preaching ‘how to write’ because as we know, everyone is different).
Now I could still do that, but as I said to my agent, I need the validation of a traditional publishing deal. So all that is now on the back burner.
I still want to progress a lot of other types of writing. I’ve done a script already this year, and I’m dabbling with games writing here and there. I will continue to do this but unless specific opportunities come along, then I’m not going to give it a higher priority than what it already has.
I have two priorities right now. The first is getting the edits to 4S done. I’m getting to the meat of the story now and I want to go back over the last 2 chapters I’ve done because there’s a lot of repetition of ideas (all slightly different) and I feel that could do with a bit of tightening.
The second is new ideas. I have plenty of ideas to develop and I’ve told myself that I want to do an outline a week. Maybe that’s a little over ambitious, especially as my process now includes some discovery chapters. But I’d rather be over ambitious and under-deliver than try and be more realistic and still under-deliver.
There’s several things going on in my head right now.
I’m asking myself what type of writer I want to be. If a book sells, I’m likely to be asked to write more in that genre. As I said to my agent, I’ve worked out that I feel I’m more a swords & sorcery writer than epic fantasy. I might have a couple of great epic fantasy novels in me, but is that something I want to be stuck writing for a number of years?
For guidance I look a lot to my reading. What do I like to read? It’s Sword & Sorcery, Urban Fantasy and some magical realism. Those are the types of books I should be outlining, and so going through my notes, it’s those ideas I’m really pulling on.
I feel a little too weighted away from S&S right now, but given the last week, I guess that’s to be expected. But I do think I need to mix up genres of my outlines.
I’m also trying to collect voices. That sounds like an idea in its own right, but I’ve found that voice is important to me. Black as Knight was based on Wolf Hall (I say I ‘ripped it off’, my agent says ‘it was inspired’). But as I read and as I listen I want to make lists of where I encounter things I think could serve as the basis for a great voice through which to tell the story. I can then take a project and pair it up with a voice.
If only it was that simple! But it should help.
I’ve not done all the admin needed to move projects and tasks around to support this new direction, but I’ve written this week off and the plan is to try and address it and sort out the shitshow next week.
So much to do, and everything feels like a hand grenade has been tossed in its midst!
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