Monday, 22 July 2013

Fleeting Tales #23: Not rushing, and the difficulty of sequels.

It's been a while since my last post and that is mainly because I have very little to post about unfortunately.  I have been hard at work with the sequel to Kinesis, although I have very little to show for it at the moment (I'll go into that a little more below). The 'hard work' stems mostly from going through the plot and trying to work out various holes etc, rather than actually getting the words down.

Before I go into the difficulties I'm having with The Kinetic, I just want to acknowledge the benefits of not rushing this novel. I didn't rush through the writing of Kinesis as I didn't give myself a deadline and I didn't really put myself under any pressure to finish it in a certain time-frame. Having said that, I did like to write at least 1000 words a day just to make myself feel better and convince myself that I would one day finish it. This 1000-words-a-day inevitably didn't always happen due to the fact that I have a family and a full-time job outside of writing. But I did find that some days I would write two, and sometimes three or four thousand words, which counterbalanced the times when I wrote zero.

What I'm getting at is that I wrote Kinesis on my own terms and didn't force myself to write (too much) when I really didn't feel like it - I didn't rush it.

Kinesis: Available for FREE from Amazon
This also goes for Kaleidoscope, although I did give myself a deadline for that one. Kaleidoscope was a very difficult book to write, but it was one that I really wanted to get down on paper and finished, so that inspired me to keep at it even when I didn't feel like writing.

I think that by not rushing my books and giving myself plenty of time, it gives me the opportunity to re-think the plot over and over so I can iron out any problems. Kinesis wouldn't have been half the story it is if I had gone with my original idea and stuck to it without thinking up extra sub-plots and working out all the holes; something that wouldn't have happened if I had given myself an unrealistic deadline. I spent many days writing nothing at all while working on Kinesis, but I was always thinking about how it could be improved, giving the story time to grow. This is the advantage of not rushing, whereas the disadvantages are obvious I guess - my output is lower than it might otherwise be.

This brings me onto my latest project, The Kinetic. Writing this book has been so much more difficult than I ever imagined and I have a new-found respect for all writers who make their original story expand into a series of novels.

I added an epilogue to Kinesis which opened up the possibility for a sequel on just a whim really. I had no intention of writing it in reality; I simply liked the idea that the story went beyond what I had written. When I decided to actually go through with The Kinetic, I was a little daunted to say the least. I came up with the basic story while writing Kaleidoscope and it has changed a little since then, but remains fundamentally the same - the story focuses on Holly Samson.

Kaleidoscope: Available from Amazon
Here's the problem - I've given myself a deadline of November 2013 for the release of this novel. This is something I really want to stick to (and I hopefully will), but at the same time I really don't want to rush through it and disappoint the readers. I know I won't release the book unless I'm happy with it, even if that means it's a couple of months late, but I must admit I'm starting to feel the pressure of getting it finished (it's only self-inflicted pressure; people aren't bashing down the door for another book I can assure you).

In terms of how it is actually going at the moment, well I think I've just about flattened all the little bumps in the plot and am pretty much on the home straight. I'm still about 40,000 words away from finishing the first draft so there is still a long way to go, but as long as I keep at it over the next few weeks I think the November deadline is a realistic one.

Finally, I'll just mention that I have a few ideas for my next novel; some better than others. But I think I'm going to go for one which will probably be a stand-alone science-fiction story called 'The Valleys'. It centres around the story of two children - a brother and sister - who are living in a world devastated by the effects of an alien invasion some years before. I haven't really planned much more beyond that at this stage, but it will be released some time in 2014.

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Ethan Spier

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