Those of you who know me know that I *love* the Red Rising series. I shove those books onto anyone that will listen. I also used to flirt shamelessly with Pierce Brown on Twitter. Every now and then, I still do. But he’s a big shot now with tons of followers and alas, it’s just not the same.
So anyway. I was listening to the Golden Son audiobook and I had this scene play out in my head. A new scene, a scene that didn’t really have anything to do with Golden Son. Something I heard sparked something in my brain and I thought, I’ve got to write this down. So I busted out my laptop and started writing. I, unfortunately, had somewhere to be so I was in a race with time to get everything in my head down onto paper so I didn’t forget. By the time I had to leave, I had 2500 words down and a good start to a new book.
Now, there are good and bad things about this story. It’s good because, hey, new creativity is awesome. It’s also good because I love writing and other than blogs, I haven’t done it in a while. It’s bad because I was in the middle of a painting that had already taken me longer than most and I put it aside to write. It’s also bad because I have about 14 other books in the works. Seriously, you should see my writing folder. It’s insane. And the worst part of this is that I have a book that’s nearly finished. A book that I’ve worked on for years. It’s not very good and I know that, but it’s almost done. Plus, I know with a HEAVY editing hand, it could be an entertaining quick read. But I have so much work to put into editing that book.
Seriously I have about two, maybe three chapters left to write and it will be done. But then I need to go through and edit it from page 1. I started the book in first person. Then changed it to third. Then decided to switch back and forth between the two characters. It’s a mess. Certain pages have been updated to the correct “person” but most of them are still a mess. I also know I have a bad habit of switching between present and past writing.
So really, I should be finishing this book, and editing it. Not only that, but I actually outlined a trilogy, down to each and every chapter last year. And I really like the idea for those. I actually think a lot of people would enjoy the plot of those. I should be working on those.
Obviously if I just wanted to get this chapter down on paper so I didn’t lose it then that would be one thing. But instead it’s actually taken up a lot of my time and thoughts. I had one scene in my head. I didn’t know what to do with the characters, what time period this would be set in, nothing. So what did I do? Sat down and figured all of that out over the span of several days. I even created a writing legend to help me stay on track.
I decided I wanted to break this down into fifteen chapters. Each chapter would be about 5,000 words, which would be 75,000 words in the book. Not very large, but enough.
So I created this writing goals legend. But then I noticed my 5, 10, and 15 chapters were larger boxes (I didn’t notice, I knew because I used a ruler). But I noticed I could fit 6 boxes in it. Making those chapters 6,000 words. So my goal is to expand on those chapters a bit more and end the book closer to 80,000 words.
Obviously it could go well over this. And hey, hopefully it does. That would be fantastic. I’m trying this new way of breaking down these weird little worlds that pop into my head to see if I can stay on task better.
Too often I start writing because I have one idea and then I don’t know where to take anything. I know a lot of authors are good at that – just sitting down and letting their worlds pour out of them. I am not. I need structure. I need a plan, a guide. I need to have things broken down much further than just intro, climax, resolution. So in each square I will write what I would like to include in each chapter and then fill in each little box as I write those 1,000 words. At the end of each chapter I’ll include how many words total. I feel like this will help give me a visualization of my writing and progress. As you can see, I have now passed the 3,000 word mark for chapter one and I’m on a roll.
Hell, maybe I should do this for my editing process as well. Just mark it off chapter by chapter. There’s an idea.
Anyway. I still have 3 paintings to finish for my Rise series, I’m going to be working on some new pieces to hang at a local art crawl, I’m also going to “gift” some pieces to a local charity for them to auction or giveaway as they see fit, and here I am, starting on ANOTHER book that will never see the light of day.
*sigh* I blame Pierce Brown.