This post is not to be confused with Muse the band. They suck. Period. What it is about is my writing this past week. I've struck a vein of gold in my brain, and am spewing forth story like a fire hose set on flood.(Wouldn't it be cool if fire hoses actually had settings, like shower heads, or hand-held massage contraptions? "Take that, fire! See how you like it on soft drip.")
I started a YA fantasy, set in a secondary world. I've never sat down to write a YA, but I have sketched out some ideas on a few and written a couple of chapters. This time it's for real, however. I am writing YA, and I'm having a blast doing it. There are a couple of reasons for my switch in audience age groups. I think that I will be writing YA for the foreseeable future.
The reasons are completely rational, I swear. I've decided YA is a good fit for me right now because I can write a much shorter novel if it's YA. I can really focus on adventure, and humor, and uplifting ideas. I was finding it hard to do those things in my adult fantasy. Also, it goes along with my last post--about Game of Thrones. I very much enjoy reading darker stories, but truth is, I'm lousy at writing them. I refuse to include extreme content, and so feel that my books were suffering because of it. I want to be honest to my stories, and I feel that I can better accomplish this in YA.
Another reason is that I tend to focus on huge plots, spanning multiple view-points in my adult fiction. Again, I read the type of stories that do this. The problem is, I hate outlining. For me, outlining is the death of creativity. (That's not to say I don't spend time planning what I'll write. I do, but mostly cognitively, rather than mapping out an entire novel on paper.) I'm finding, though, that as I'm writing these huge books (roughly 120,000-150,000 words, so not technically huge. To give you some perspective, The Way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson, and The Wise Man's Fear, by Patrick Rothfuss--both extremely popular writers in adult fantasy--are around 400,000 words. That is huge. More like holy-shit insane.) I'm losing my way. Yeah, I know how they'll end. But the middle is bogging me down. It's literally crippling my writing to try and work through these stories right now. I just don't have the time. I made it to 125,000 on my first untitled book. Gunlord only made it to 80,000. I intend to finish Gunlord in the future, but it needs to sit a while and simmer. I'm not ready to write it the way I want to.
All the pros say it's better for a new writer to finish what they are writing before working on something else. I really tried to take this advice to heart these last four months. I just couldn't finish. Every time I went to write Gunlord my fingers hovered above the keyboard. I rewrote the beginning from a new perspective; I played with doing it in first-person. Nothing was working. I love the characters, my writing group seems to love the characters, but it isn't good to be a writer and not be writing. For me, moving on to something new--that I'm very excited about--has made my life so much happier. I kept telling my wife I was down, that I didn't know how to crawl out of the slump I was in. I found my out. It's in YA fantasy, and I'm going to run with it for as long as I can.
So, I'm shooting for 75,000 words for this new book. Want to know the title? Course you do. Just know that I'll kill you if you try and steal it. It's titled: Merchant God Conspiracy, or The Merchant God Conspiracy. Haven't decided which one flows off the tongue better. I have one view-point character. I have a very exciting, fast-paced plot. There are gods, flint-lock pistols, and zombies (sort of). I'm loving it. I've written 8,000 words on it in four days. That's twice my normal speed.
Anyway, I had to share my excitement. So there you go.