Friday, January 15

My Game Plan

One of the most difficult things I've faced recently has been my attempt to make writing a habit, again. Starting any habit is difficult. As long as I can write about three paragraphs in one day, I feel like I've accomplished something great. And this is actually a good thing. No matter how much I happen to write during the day, at least it's something--something to keep me tied into the story.

At the moment, I'm working on MAY THE DEAD SPEAK, the first story in OF THE MOON AND SUN. This was the one I worked on this past NaNoWriMo, but I actually started working on it before EDEN. I think there was a total of four pages (1.5k words). When NaNoWriMo started, I went back and rewrote what I had, adding 10k. Of course, I was derailed in my NaNo attempt . . . life happens and I couldn't discipline myself into keeping my 2k a day word count. And when I mentally see a snowball picking up speed down the hill, I tend to buck under the pressure. So I mentally rebelled. But I'm back now, free from the pressure of a deadline; however, I have placed a new, albeit flexible, deadline on myself. By the end of February, I hope to have the first draft of MtDS finished. Next will be ROSLYN, the second story in the book (MOON & SUN).

I gave my stepdad a brief outline of the larger story within this series and where things are planned to go, and his reply was, "You've got a lot on your plate." But that's what I love. I love stories and characters that continue on after one book is finished. I love to immerse myself. I look at it like a TV series. There's so much I want to explore with these characters. I could never write a single book and end the characters and universe in one go-around. I can, however, read books like this.

My plans for this series . . . (Hopefully spoiler free.)

EDEN kicks off the rollercoaster. It's a large book, I'll admit to that, but I kept it moving fast. I also made a conscious effort to steer clear of heavy details in descriptions. I wanted to give the reader just enough to keep the coaster moving. I'm not doing this to write the next great American novel. I want to entertain! The book may end in a cliffhanger but things will be revisited soon.

OF THE MOON AND SUN begins with the story MAY THE DEAD SPEAK. It takes place during the events in EDEN, using characters introduced near the end of the book. ROSLYN is the second story in MOON & SUN and takes place two years before EDEN.

THE BROTHERHOOD is a glimpse at the villain in this story arc.

S.E.V.E.N. takes place in the 1870s and shows the beginnings of this powerful organization.

WISDOM OF A WARRIOR will contain two stories, each one delving into the history around two characters introduced in EDEN.

BLOODLINES will explore the past of two prominent characters in EDEN.

THEORY OF TRUTH is planned to contain two stories. The first one will explore the missing six months that happened to one of the characters. The second story, though introducing two new characters, will have lasting effects within the rest of the series.

SHADOWS AND SILHOUETTES will be two stories that take place right after EDEN. They will fill in the blanks left by the first novel in the series.

THE DIABOLICAL SYMPHONY picks up right where EDEN left off. Everything boils down to the chaos delivered to my beloved characters.

And this will be the end of the first story arc. The next story arc will pick up twenty years later, beginning with the book SOLACE.

Why do some of these books contain two stories? I feel that it organizes the series better, and some of these stories would be considered novellas if published alone. I also want to give my possible readers more for their money and support.

So yeah, I guess I do have a lot on my plate, and I haven't even factored in the stuff I want to do with FOUR CORNERS. In the long run, EDEN will probably contain much more than FC. Which is fine. FC is a whole different ball game.

I may not be seen as a professional writer to some (or even to myself), but I like to think of myself as a career writer. I love to do this. Good or not, this is me. I tell stories.

And to stay focused, I surround myself with everyday reminders.

Saturday, January 9


Ever since I released EDEN last month, I've been trying to hunker down and begin working again. But I feel scattered. I want to work on FOUR CORNERS as well as EDEN. And in mentally going back and forth, I can't focus one-hundred percent on one project. So for the past few day I've been trying to shake myself clear from this fog. This process usually starts with me trying to steer clear of the internet. Most of my time and energy is squandered on frivolous things like Facebook, forums, and email. I miss the days when I didn't have 24/7 access to the internet. It's like a drug to me. While others can coexist with it, I have a difficult time. I believe this come from many different places within me. I've always said that I have ADHD (undiagnosed). I struggled in school--was overwhelmed in college, though I excelled in my art classes. I also have a problem with numbers. Math was my poorest subject. It's like a wall wraps around my brain when math is involved. I use to call it "Number Dyslexia," but I found out the other day that it's an actual disorder called "Dyscalculia." This is the answer I've been looking for. Too bad no one knew about it when I was growing up.

All of this "scatterbrain" stuff is magnified when the internet and procrastination are involved. I feel overwhelmed most of the time, therefore, I get nothing completed. I realize that the best way for me to work is the engulf myself in it completely. This past July, when I stayed at my grandmother's for a month, was like heaven. No internet, no cell phone, no real distractions. I wish everyday was like that--just me and my many characters swimming within my head. But I can't do that here. The internet is a constant presence. It's like a drug addict trying to get clean in a house filled with his/her drug of choice. Willpower is a fragile thing, more precious than gold or diamonds.

Perhaps I need to quit cold-turkey, or strictly limit myself to weekends in the form of one blog entry.

I need to pick one project and stick with it: EDEN or FOUR CORNERS? I'm having loads of fun with EDEN right now . . . Though I miss my FC characters. Ahhhhh!!! *rips out her hair*

To battle perfectionism, this entry will remain imperfect.