November 3, 2016

And that's one chapter down

I didn’t expect it to take me three days to do the first chapter. I had a lot more ground to cover than I realized. Hopefully, everybody will be able to tolerate an opening chapter that weighs in at over 6500 words.

It’s funny, since I managed to nail down the story for this novel, I’m already thinking ahead to the next one. I really need to stop getting ahead of myself! The plus side is that I’m already putting some thought toward reworking the ending of this novel in preparation for the next one. My current ending strikes me as something of an anticlimax. There is a climax to this specific book, of course, but the planned ending is… calm. I’m debating whether to keep that or move into a cliffhanger on which to hook the next book. I wonder if readers especially hate the latter.

I took a different approach to the opening chapter this time around. In the first two books, there’s a framing narrative which is set very near the end of the overall book series, with the intention that it will all make sense and pull together in the final book. This time, a fair amount of backstory from the first book is filled in and contextualized as a way of catching readers up after some time away. The second chapter will pick up where the main story left off in the previous book. Now, since the framing stories serve the purpose of framing the contents of the first and second books, this leaves the obvious question of how I will structurally mimic that in this third book. My answer is: I don’t know yet! I have a particular thought about it, though. Since the opening of this volume mainly serves the purpose of filling in a bunch of backstory (while foreshadowing the events of the book, naturally!), the ending could likewise offer up some heretofore unknown backstory and hint at what’s to come. I already have a character in mind to focus on for that, as well. But since it’s so far off, there are certainly no guarantees.

I hope people like these posts about how the sausage gets made. I always like to read about the creative process of others. I can’t promise mine is terribly exciting but if these thoughts are useful or entertaining to anyone else, then that’s great! Even if not, dumping them out here is a nice experience for me–it helps me organize and contemplate my own thoughts about what I’m doing, too.

I’m thinking about putting together some pages on this site about the books themselves, too. Maybe some in-universe narratives, teasers, things like that. I’m also willing to let people preview the first two books if they ask nicely, although I’m not content to widely distribute them at this point.

Anyway, I’m well on track so far. Best of luck to all the other writers out there!