Archive for June, 2013

I hit a funk with Book 3, so decided to outline the whole thing to get a better picture of it. I just didn’t expect it to be 10,000 words. And growing.

Yeah, I’ve proudly written Books 1 and 2 of Wasteland Chronicles with very little planning other than what was in my head. But I just now finished outline one of Book 3, and feel rather pleased with it. The fact that it’s so long has me worried the book itself will be long. I kind of wanna go in and add some stuff here and there to slow the pacing a bit. Even at ten thousand words, all it is at this point is nonstop action – which is pretty much what Books 1 and 2 were, but I want to have some more room in there to experiment with other things, like romance and such. I don’t want to be a one trick pony.

I wish I could print this thing out and show it off in all of its fifteen page, single-spaced glory, but my printer is acting weird, declaring it has no paper when in fact it has plenty. This outline is rough and not in its final form. I kind of want to experiment with heavy outlining, knowing exactly how I want the book to be before I write it, to see if this level of control is for me. Knowing me, though, I’ll let the characters have their way if they find a better path.

I think outlining has certain advantages. You can find plot problems before they start, and if something in the end doesn’t fit with the beginning, you can go back in fix the beginning without having to trash paragraphs of prose. You can also glance at the scenes, and see if there are four heavy action scenes in a row, and add a slower scene in them. You can see all the threads working together to form the rope of your narrative, as it were. As of now, both Books 1 and 2 were pretty straightforward with only one main plot. Hopefully, I can work in at least one subplot with this one.

All this was inspired by readingĀ  2K to 10K, a book about increasing your daily word count. It made a very good case for outlining and learning as much about your story as possible before diving in, and I’m going to give it a try with this one and see how it goes.

20,000 Words In

Posted: June 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

I’m 20,000 words in, and the entire thing seems very directionless and unfocused. I went back to the beginning to add a bunch of stuff because I want to add a romance subplot and character development, which there has not been much time for thus far. I want to take as long as I need word count wise to get that done.

It’s pretty clear now that this is going to be two books. Book 3 will be called Evolution, and Book 4 will be Extinction. It’s really hard to tell what the overall point of this book is. I want it to be more of a character book than the first two. Book 1 was a survival book, Book 2 was a quest book, Book 3 will be the main character trying to figure out what he wants and sort of figuring out what he’s about. While the bad guys evolve and become even more dangerous, Alex himself will evolve. Or at least, that’s what I’m hoping for.

For that reason, it will be toughest so far to write. Honestly it’s probably going to take longer than the first two. I don’t know how much of what I have will be kept in the end. It may all need to be rewritten once I figure out everything. I have no idea how long that will take. I could just write this, winging it, and try to have it done as soon as possible, but I don’t think it would be very good if I tried that. If I did try that, it would sort of take the series in the wrong direction.

I feel like the series sort of feels like “teen heroes against the world,” able to fight their way through thick and thin without having to sacrifice much. There’s a lot of books out there like that now, and there’s nothing wrong with it, but I want to write something more true to life. I feel like I’ve written characters who are strong, always know the right thing to do, who are unbeatable. This time, I want to show their weakness and their humanness. I want them to make mistakes. Not necessarily stupid mistakes, but honest ones with the best of intentions. I don’t really know what that will look like, yet. Hopefully I can find it in the coming months.