Friday, January 09, 2009

Breaking Novel Writing Myths

Myth #1 Authors work on one book at a time.

In 2005 I started a book that fell to the wayside, Among the Ancients. It was the rough time, right after I finished my Manipulated Evil Trilogy. That trilogy had characters and a story so big, everything I wrote after it felt flat to me. The second book I started after it, Rise of the Arcadians, had ties to Global Climate Change that helped me keep it going to the end but was a simpler story. I wasn't sure about it, but many have told me now that it's their favorite of my titles so far. So I learned not to judge my own work by what I felt about it. I picked up Rise a few months ago and was shocked to find it really is very good.

Fall of 2008, I finally finished Among the Ancients. Only took me five years. (Can you hear the sarcasm there?) It will be released by summer 2009 - my fingers crossed -, and I must admit, it's turned into an exciting tale. I simply had to work through some plot glitches.

In late 2007, with the other two lingering as Works in Progress, I started on another series, different than the trilogy. It has developed into the Disillusionment Series with Daughter of Gods: Book one, finished and due out this year, 2009. It was a breeze to write in just about 7 months, the characters practically dictating their story, much like the characters of my trilogy did. The third book of the series is also written - Starlight and Judgment.

Now, I have to write the book linking the two of them together. This series is nothing like the trilogy. Each book stands alone, happening years after the previous but with a family who grows through the years. Starlight, Kira, 23 years old in the third book all about her trials, is the 6 year old daughter of Cedrik of the first book and his reason for taking the steps he does. In the middle book, yet untitled, she shares center stage with her parents as a 16 year old.

Does it sound strange that book one and three are done and two isn't even titled or past chapter 3 yet? I really tried not to do it that way. I was unwillingly driven to write Starlight and Judgment, leaving book two with only three chapters done. It all happened because of an annoyingly nagging character. Every time I tried to sit down and write 16 year old Kira, 23 year old Kira would butt in and sketch out her adult scenes in my head. Now I know what events happen to her in the second book to turn her into who she becomes. Now, book two is ready to be written. It's the first time I've ever developed a character backwards.

I have to admit I'm enjoying the character developments happening in the Disillusionment Series and looking forward to moving ahead with their lives as well as the conflicts as the indigenous people of Earth fight against their creators to keep their planet whole and well, not broken and abused. I have at least 5 books planned for the series based on the characters I want to focus on.

So, at one time, I had four books in different stages of development. Not something I would suggest, but whatever works it what an author has to do. Follow the muse :)

Until next time...