And the Story Goes On…

After my life had finished taking its most recent twists and turns, I found myself feeling something very familiar.

You know how writers sometimes say that their characters come to them and poke at the imagination, and keep doing so until the story is written? I wouldn’t say that I experience that, but once in a while, I find myself thinking of one of my characters, and realizing…I left the story unfinished.

Have you ever had those instances where you parted ways with someone, only to realize that it’s not over yet? The truth is, it’s really not that different when it comes to writers and their characters. It’s the same sort of feeling. It’s the same sort of want to turn back and say those last few words hanging on your lips; the only difference is that you’re not exactly talking to a person, and it’s not just a few words. You’re continuing your story, and you’re talking to the world.

That’s how I’ve been feeling lately. I realized that I had stranded one of my prior main character, shunting him into a side role almost inadvertently, but he is actually a ticket to one of the things that are the most important in this arc. In fact, I’ve forgotten one massive part of the storyline arc, and it can’t go untouched. In fact, it will likely go and carry through the 3rd arc, after Origins are done.

A lot to do…a lot to do, but this is the sort of creative surge that I’ve gone too long without, and missed dearly.

K.G.

Good gravy.

It finally sank in just now: I won National Novel Writing Month five times in a row.

In addition thereto, I have two published manuscripts, one in progress for publication prep, one pending a heavy edit, and another awaiting completion. Which means…hoo boy, I have work to do.

As a part of writing a series, it’s an inevitability that one is going to get scrambled within their own plotlines. There’s nothing new or unexpected about it; it happens with every story that gets stretched to continuation. Especially while working on Manuscript #4, which won me last year’s NaNoWriMo, I got into the habit of writing and inserting author’s notes, reminding myself to double-check on my sources, that is to say a previous manuscript. And let me tell you, that helps. There are some plot holes that are reminding me that the story is either open to a lot more flexibility or is requiring a lot of re-tweaking for it to make sense.

So, on my agenda:

– Finish out the prelim edit of Book 3. I stopped at around Chapter 9 because of 1. NaNo and 2. generally being busy.

Simultaneously, begin editing Book 4. The reason why it’s simultaneous is because Books 3 and 4 are very closely tied together, so whatever happens in one will influence the other, and I have the final outcomes already in mind.

– Leave Book 5 alone until the above is done.

The last one is a toughie. You, my friends and readers, know me: I am a singularly determined person, and I don’t leave things incomplete. Book 4, though it was like pulling teeth after some time, stands completed, even in its unrefined form. So to leave Book 5 just lingering there…that’s going to be interesting. And in addition to that, there’s Christmas gallivanting to be done.

Why yes, I’m spending another holiday at the Note. :)

So, with a long deep breath and some caffeine, off to work I get.

K.G.

NaNoWriMo update #4

Good grief.

I’ve…slacked. A lot. I should have written at least the rest of the chapter – which is becoming more and more verbose and long-winded; I can almost feel the word-padding going on – on Tuesday, but I effectively crawled over to my friend’s house and passed out. The day made me feel like a squeezed lemon. I did a good amount of laptop-wrestling last night (AVG 2011 decided to spazz on me then) after Nate Najar’s lovely show, so of course, my writing was minimal. I should have been at 35,000 words last night. I’m very much not.

That should be, and will be rectified posthaste.

Oddly, though, the more I write, the more I get excited about the storyline I started putting into place. It’s definitely slow going, and the character of Corwin Jacobs (newly renamed, and I like this one) may be showing some of his personality soon. So far he’s just a sideman, and I don’t have a bigger role for him…not yet, anyway. The larger plot is still percolating, but it’s definitely now giving way to the Other Plot that I have in place right now, also percolating. And of course, there’s a big battle in there too…of course. :)

Between all of that, I’m awaiting a few e-mails and calls regarding unrelated-to-writing things, and I have two deadlines to meet. So, plenty for me to do :)

K.G.

NaNoWriMo Update

Also known as yes, it’s that damned time again.

Every single November since that of 2006, I have gone and ventured to http://www.nanowrimo.org to participate in the madness known as the National Novel Writing Month. Also known as “write 50,000 words in 30 days or bust!” For the past four years, I participated, and won. This makes my fifth year writing, and hopefully, possibly, my fifth year winning.

Now, I should say that this is exactly how all of my books have come to be. I used NaNo as a deadline motivator to write the bare bones of the manuscript, then finish it out over the course of the year, then prep it for publication. That’s how it worked. But there’s a huge difference between then and now, and if you weren’t around before, I will restate why I’m now wondering whether or not I’m slightly nuts:

I. Have. No. Concrete. Plot.

I have plot lines. I have vague ideas for sequence of events. I don’t have an actual outline, I don’t have an actual plot.

This, in turn, has me wondering just what kind of a nut am I to attempt starting a formal business practice, edit Book 3, and write what will be Book 5 at the same time.

Only one thing to say…
Coffee, here I come!!!

K.G.

The Ever-Present “Now What?”

The weather is getting cooler, and in its general inspiring effect, I started doing my general two-fold way of writing. Editing the third book – I’m at midpoint, thinks I – and slowly planning what I plan to do next.

And therein lies the rub. What should I do next with my characters?

That is the challenge of a series with more than one arc. Looking back over the first four books – regardless of how rough or refined the drafts are – I see that I have given my characters ample potential to grow, and grow they did. Where they start out nearly…casual…in the way they approach problems, ethical challenges, losses, personal conflicts have reshaped them, and changed their approaches to, well, everything. Very much like we humans tend to do over time.

The characters leave the end of Book 4 in a very strange way. Shourron I is so traumatized by the events that led up to the conclusion of Book 4 that he goes and does something more or less reflexive for anyone who goes through hell and back. Arriella took a crash course in leadership, but instead is faced with conflicts that she overlooked. And the overall climate of my characters is shifting; theirs is not the kind received easily anymore, especially after their last jaunt garners less-than-stellar reviews.

So this is where I’m left off from. And now I’m wondering, what should I throw their way next?

The general and accepted saying among fiction authors goes, “Write what you know.” Every generation has its war, and I’m seeing the war that’s home to our generation. I’m also seeing how little people take care of what’s around them, and the extent to which this world is being pushed by that. This, if anything, is a world in conflict that we’re living in, and if that’s what I know, then it’s ripe for writing inspiration, however dark said writing may turn out to be.

That all said,¬† I’m also not sure if I want to push my characters into the same conflicts that we Earth-people deal with. It will come out to be heavy, overbearing, maybe more ‘fiction’ than ‘science fiction’ in many regards. But there’s a lot to be said for conflict. I can always designate an issue per arc, if need be, but how to stretch it…?

Books 1-4 have an arc of their own, so Book 5 is designating one. I’m pretty sure I know what I’m going to put in far as one of the characters’ Personal Arc – that’s a given. What I need to know is the details.

I’m sure it’s nothing some music and random writing in cafes won’t fix.

K.G.