I found Greg’s post interesting yesterday, in that the advice fairies are forever spewing out generic advice, thinking they know what's best for us fiction writers. And I'm here, not listening to most of what they're saying, like a teenager, learning my lessons the hard way.
There’s no way I could write just one book in The Courier series at a time. In fact, there’s no way I could write just two of the books at a time. Technically, I’m writing all five at once.
The Courier was originally a short story idea. Guy down on his luck, desperate for a job, starts working for a courier service owned by Satan, finds out he’s transporting a substance used to hasten the opening of the Gates of Hell… Reading the idea back, it’s pretty open ended and not at all unique. But, sometimes characters gets in my face and beg me to write their stories. In Barry’s case, the story's protagonist, he’s probably been the most nagging character I’ve had the pleasure of working with. So, I caved to his pressure and originally agreed to write a short Twitter novel. Well, Barry disagreed and continued to nag like a three year old until I acquiesced to an additional four novels. Incidentally, I’ve had to tell Barry that if he wants a longer life, he’ll have to jump into another novel and play a different role, like an actor.
Where am I in regards to transitioning from one novel to the next? I have started writing book two while completing major edits of book one. Oh, and I’m still releasing book one through Twitter and the story’s website. Am also outlining book three, working through the plot for book four and settling on the idea for book five. Seem kinda chaotic? No biggie. It’s how my brain works.
What challenges am I facing? I need to write faster. Reflecting on my past writing positions, I used to handle multiple projects with unrealistic deadlines. Just the nature of the business. Today, I write fiction at home, between loads of laundry. If I had a publisher breathing down my neck, I could pump out novels just as quickly as Nora Roberts. Don't give me no crap about quality of the story. Her novels are bestseller, aren't they? And, I'm certainly not aspiring to be another Hemingway or Steinbeck with my version of comedic horror.
Researching the origin of evil and modernizing it are also time consuming. Basically, my challenge has been remaining faithful to the folklore of western religions, yet creating a good vs. evil that evolves with modern times. I mean, really, who can believe Satan and his gang have been hanging around, doing the same old thing, with the same old goals for the past umpteen years. This is proving to be much more involved in book two than in book one, and don’t even get me started on where book three is headed with the introduction of a few dark and mischievous fallen angels’ apprentices.
I'm trying to keep my challenges down to two hurdles at a time, so stay tuned, folks. I'm sure I'll be bitching about something else in a couple weeks. ;-)