Making slow but steady progress on the novel. Broke 20,000 words on Wednesday – which admittedly is a good 10,000 behind where I need to be for NaNoWriMo, and I’m just finishing off the first act of the novel, but that’s still pretty impressive for me personally. I’ve also gotten things to the point where I believe that other than the first couple of chapters (which will go into my first story) the rest of what I’ve written will work really well as the 2nd story in my series.
I’ve also come to the realization that writing the 2nd story before I write the 1st has a few advantages. The biggest of these is that I’ve found several scenes that I can foreshadow in the first story, which gives me minor plot points that I never would have thought of to put in book one that will have little meaning in that story, but will directly relate to events in book two (something I never would have thought of if I’d made this story book one). And that of course got me to thinking that I needed to starting working up potential plotlines for book three, so I can setup things in book two to further develop in later stories.
For the moment I’m not focusing on future books yet, however (no need to put the cart too much in front of the horse). I want to at least get the rough draft done for this story first (and then move on to developing the story for what will become book one). But now that I’ve got this idea in my head, my plan is to develop at least a basic outline for book three at the same time that I’m editing book two. This will hopefully give me some ideas for additional scenes/details/characters, etc. that I can add into book two while I’m editing to help give my stories more continuity to them. We’ll see how that goes.
In an earlier blog post I mentioned that the whole idea for making this story book two started with a very minor secondary character (my troll executioner) that I realized I wanted to expand in an earlier story before likely killing him off at the start of this story. Well, along those lines, I’ve developed two additional characters (both fairly major secondary characters) that I will also be establishing in book one. One of them is going to be a major character in both books, while the other is one that I want to simply introduce as a very minor character in book one, then expand his role for book two. And I think one of my original major characters I’m going to stick with introducing in this story, so he won’t be present in the first story at all.
These are the types of things that keep me fired up about my writing. It’s not just the writing itself (which can be both an absolute joy, and about as much fun as getting teeth pulled, depending on my motivation levels and how much I’m struggling with the section I’m currently writing). It’s coming up with new ideas, and developing characters and exploring their histories. It’s the research – which can take me into all kinds of different topics and concepts. I took a break from writing at one point this week to look at pictures of Moorish castles, to help me visualize the castle prison that is the setting for my current chapters.
Now admittedly there are times that world-building and character development and (especially for me) research can all become distractions that I use to procrastinate from actually writing, and that’s certainly something I have to watch out for. But at the same time, all these things can also be great ways to keep myself inspired and motivated. And like my blog posts, they are also ways that I can let myself take a break from my story, while still doing something productive (unlike time spent perusing Facebook, or playing games on my phone, for example).
I will close this blog post with a question (or two) – what keeps you inspired to write? What aspects of the writing process (other than the writing itself) do you get excited about, and look forward to? Until next week!