Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Writing Projects

I’m at a very unusual point in my life as an author, in that I suddenly have too many things to write.

For the majority of my life, I worked on pretty much one story. It was kind of like my pet project, the one that I had built up through high school and through most of college. It was a monster epic, some 360 pages of single spaced text in Word. I never got a full wordcount on it, but just thinking about how long it was makes me shudder at the prospect of having to edit it. I actually didn’t mind working with such a large project at the time, since the story’s background was tied up with quite a few of my other creative endeavors.

In contrast to that point in time, I now have four novels in various levels of progress. The first of them, Brellan is a story that I had worked on back in college for a short time, then picked up and finished later on after graduation. It started out as a horror story set in a fantasy world. Given my inexperience with the genre, I tried to emphasize the tension and the mystery parts of the story. Unfortunately, that meant that I skimped slightly on the background and character development, which a lot of my later readers picked up on. It introduced a lot of plot holes in the story, and prevented most people from getting into the situation. The book was also left very, very short compared to most fantasy stories. As a result, I decided to shift it to more of a dark fantasy story, and include much more detail than the original contained. Due to how the revision process has worked out, though, I have only recently gotten enough commentary and ideas to start, so Brellan is still in very rough shape.

My second effort, Wolfhound, has taken a totally different route of development. It started out as a stereotypical science fiction story, and quickly grew into a novel that I still really enjoy. Wolfhound is actually a book I could see myself writing sequels to, and is pretty much the first story of mine my wife could actually read from start to finish and honestly say she enjoyed the experience. The story actually took shape much more quickly than Brellan and reached a semi-finished state much sooner. I’ve actually started querying agents for it, though I wonder if my characters still need too much work. Given that characters have never been a particular strong point (I’m far more about plots, really) I don’t know if that will improve without drastically altering things to a point where I wouldn’t be satisfied with it. So, it is a YA sci fi book that I think is awesome.

My third project is tentatively called The New Realm: Frontier. It is currently at about the halfway point for the first draft, and I have a fairly good feeling about it. Set in a standard fantasy world, the story has an interesting plot and a setting that I like enough to stick with for a while. That, and the enemies are creepy. :) I just came up with a sturdier outline for it, so things should develop well. I just need the time to finish it.

My final project is a book I am currently calling Pioneer, a title that will most likely change. It is another sci fi novel, though this one picks up a different theme. While the main character is slightly military still, the mechanics of fighting in the universe are much different, as are the motivations. Rather than a war, more or less, the characters are migrating and colonizing. Plus, this story has crazy space mechs for weapons. Bwaha. It is still no more than a third or so of the way through the first draft, but I think it will come together nicely.

In addition to these four, I have a few other ideas piling up in my head. A post-apocalyptic story, another story about a paranormal, Lovecraftian detective story of some kind, and a possible remake for my original book, as well as other crazy ideas keep bouncing in and out of my skull. It’s hard to find time lately to get work done on what I’m already dealing with, let alone this other stuff. Sigh.

So what do you guys think I should focus on? Submitting and/or wearily fine tuning Wolfhound? Rewriting Brellan? Or just focus on getting the two newer stories out? Cause at this point, dividing my time between the lot might end with me going absolutely insane, or just dropping it all. Let me know what you think, and I’ll see ya round.

1 comment:

  1. Ha ha. You're beginning to sound like my story blog.

    Since I'm currently working on four projects, I'm probably not the best person to give an opinion...

    However, I'd say do two of them, one being an editing type and the other being a creative type. I think if you focus on just rewriting Brellan or fine tuning Wolfhound, you'll get annoyed/bored/depressed/tired by the process and give up. But if you continue to produce new works, you won't really hound your skills and learn how to fix what you're consistently doing wrong.

    But if you did two, then when you get tired of editing (say if you picked Wolfhound), you could switch to creating one of the newer stories. And then when you tire of that, you can switch back to editing. This will keep you refreshed :)

    At least, that's how it works for me...unless I'm working on an ending (A)