G R Matthews
The Age of Death (subject to change :) )
So, "The Silencing of the North" has been sent off to my agent, and "Seven Deaths of an Empire" has been through its copy-edits and is back with the publishers and editors.
Well, I've got 15K of Corin Hayes #5 written... could go back and write that.
I've got around 17K of a RomCom written... I know what you're thinking, but it was something different to have a go at, quite fun too... and I could go back to that. And I've had this other idea that's been kicking around in the back of my mind for a year or two. There are pages in some journals where I've tried ideas out - written paragraphs and scenes with the character I had in mind, trying to get the tone right, thinking about the world they inhabit.
I've decided to work on that. Sorry, I'll come back to Corin at some point - esp if lots of people decide to go and buy the books (hint hint)... but for now, new ideas means new fun (and stress, terror, frustration, and mild panic).
It used to be, back when I wrote The Stone Road and its sequels, when I first put digit to keyboard on Corin Hayes, that I would start writing with only a vague idea of characters, of events, and a solid idea of the ending. Now... now things are different. I find myself in need of notes, a map, planned out arcs (not in line by line detail or even chapter by chapter). For the last few books, I've even written the synopsis before the first word of chapter one has been typed. Which way is better? I don't honestly know.
I can say that "pantsing" is fun - finding out where the story goes, who does what, who lives and who dies, who wins and loses, as you write is bloody exciting (and terrifying).
The planning route... well, it is still exciting, but it involves a lot of thought beforehand. And I'll tell you now, I do struggle to write the closer I get to the end (especially as my last two books have topped 150K in length) because of exhaustion (to a degree) and because I know what is going to happen. However, this method did secure a book deal and an agent... so there is that to take into consideration. Also, it may be because I stopped looking at each book as just "fun to write" and started thinking more and more about "what would make this a really good story?" Clearly, they should both go together; fun to write = good story (in some vague theory of everything kind of way). I'm aware of other authors methods - I've spoken to a few over the years. We each find our own sweet spot of creativity, I suppose. Like pianist playing a Beethoven Symphony, each one gives their own little twist, stresses, highlights, timings, arrangement. Anyway, this post was born of procrastination, like a lot of blog posts, so I thought I'd include the map I've been working on for this new book - "The Age of Death" (which I think is a pretty good title - which I've just seen is a title of a book by MJ Sullivan... might have to change it!). Hrm... it is lunchtime, might have soup, and might come back to writing later... probably the synopsis (I hate them, but I am beginning to divine their purpose).