I don't know about any other authors, but I have to say my brain works in a funny old way. Sometimes I will get a story idea and it can be quite easy to follow, but only in the sense that sometimes certain ideas will linger and links will start to appear as the story forms. If only it could always be the case because naturally it would make writing, not necessarily faster, but somehow smoother.
Other times I can have an idea that is more like a segment of a story; a small seed that needs to be nurtured and left to grow. These ideas I get a lot. I get seeds. I get segments. Teases of possibilities which I then become obsessed over only to have to leave them alone.
This is kind of what happened with the Blood Series. I had an idea way back in the beginning and I kept thinking, and thinking, and planning, and scrapping those ideas, until I came up with a story that I ended up throwing away. I took the parts that I thought worked and started again. Now, I think it took me possibly two months of severe planning to put together the version of Cranberry Blood that is indeed on sale, and during those months I naturally went into depth in regards to the characters - that I knew would make an appearance in Cranberry, or be mentioned because they play an important part somehow - and the general structure of the world.
When I wrote and eventually finished the book I obviously knew there would be another couple of books because it is a plot that will stretch across a few books, and although I know how this particular plot - the main plot that is hinted at in She-Wolf: Blood Series Prequel, but kicks off in Cranberry Blood: Blood Book One - is going to end, I wasn't entirely sure how the characters were getting there.
(I have said it before and I will say it again, I am a punster. I improvise, and when I say improvise I mean I have notes of things that have to happen or be tied up, but I pretty much dive in and follow the characters. It isn't easy, but it's just how I write. So, I kinda make things up as I go, or as the characters show me.)
As you may know by now - especially if you are a regular visitor to this blog - She-Wolf: Blood Series Prequel, was indeed written after Cranberry Blood: Book One as you would expect a prequel to be, but I hadn't expected to actually write it. I had an idea about Clare and Owen due to the character profiles and backgrounds, but it wasn't until Owen demanded I tell their story that I realized I had too because the events that take place during/around their story were important in linking to Book One, and the same realization happened yesterday.
As you also may know by now, I have had a gap between writing the Blood Series Prequel and Book One and writing Book Two, which I'm working on at the moment. Now, a fact you don't know is that the epilogue at the end of Book One wasn't in my original manuscript. The book did end on a cliff-hanger - I realize that the ending of Cranberry Blood is still left open, but that is simply because the opening of Book Two overlaps with the epilogue. Each book in this series is an instalment of one big story. So, it has been purposely done - but the epilogue didn't exist until the submission coordinator of my ex publisher suggested there was something missing at the end. I'm glad she did say that because she was right, something was missing, and voila the epilogue was born, and from that epilogue a smaller sub/side plot was created.
What am I getting at?
Well, when the sub plot emerged it became obvious there was going to be a Book 1.5 coming into play, but I wasn't sure at the time what on earth was going to happen. I mean, I know which characters are in here, but what is this plot which has appeared and veered slightly away from the main story arc? How is it all going to work out?
I started working on Blood Book Two in December - didn't write as much as I wanted due to Christmas, but I got 10k done, which I'm happy with - so naturally, my muse is at work, I'm throwing ideas about and I start asking myself questions and write down the logical and appropriate answers, but still nothing has clicked, I need the click. How can I make this idea work when this and this is happening in the main plot?
Yesterday, CLICK. My god, how did I not see that? It makes perfect sense. It's totally possible. It fits. It works. I have no idea where this magnificent little slice of excellence has come from but I love it!
I started work on the original Book One in 2009. In 2010 I took what I wanted from that original idea and threw the rest away. In 2010 I had a foundation for the world, an idea for the overall story arc, and a Book One I loved. 2010 I figured out the Prequel. 2011 both books were contracted. 2011 the prequel was published. 2012 Book One was published. 2012 things were going wrong so I made the decision to not continue with the series until I had the rights back and could self publish. 2013 I got the rights back. 2014 I self-published the Prequel and Book One in the Blood Series. 2015 working on Blood Book Two and planning Book 1.5.
Seven years this series is in the process and I'm still technically planning it. I'm still having light bulbs popping on in my head. I realize it takes some authors years to put a book, or a series together and god, I respect that. Writing is never easy, not really. And this post hasn't been about the length of time it takes to write, but simply how funny and wonderful ones imagination can be, because as I said, you can sit and think, and obsess, and drive yourself crazy trying to put a story together, trying to figure out the flow of a series, or how a world works, and you can feel so stuck, like you're hitting wall after wall, and yet in truth, you already know how the story will go. It's all up there in your mind, already written, just waiting to be wrote down.
I have tried forcing stories to work and I end up blocking myself. So, if I can't figure one out I put it to one side, because I already know that I have it all sorted, it's just not ready for me to see that yet. And yes, I love when writing flows, I love when I know where I'm going with a story, but I have to say I actually really love the clicks; I love when an idea hits me and has the ability to blow me away, excite me, but more importantly shows me that I don't suck, and that I'm not stuck... I'm just a secret creative genius, or well, my muse is lol
Belated Happy Monday! I hadn't realized it was already Tuesday. Oops. Have a great week!