Musings on writing, lessons learned by an aspiring professional, book reviews, movie reviews, an occasional t.v. show review, and unashamed opinion.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

When the Muse Strikes

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.              

1 comment:

  1. Good luck with the switch, but how DARE you insult Muse (the band)!! Heathen! I will throw tomatoes at you next we meet!