So yesterday I grabbed the lappie and sat in that big armchair by the window, Pot Noodle in tow. I'm sure the neighbours must think I'm insane or something, but anyways. I set myself a timer [do not leave this chair untill half past 5] and opened up that huge Word file.
The premise is simple: all my life I've wanted to write and have started approximatly 6 or 7 Fantasy novels, but never finished them. Some of these books were stand alone, others sprung from themselves. I had ideas for a second and third sequal for most books, but really I was just an amateur without a clue of what I was doing.
Sure I knew I wanted to write for a living and I already had the basics of how to string words together, construct a decent plot etc., but I had put no thought into "writing as a career". It turns out, not many people do. I think Written is going to touch more on this later in her Advice Column, so I won't go directly into rant mode. Let me just say though, that I took a break from novel writing, went out there and landed various writing related jobs - game reviewing, articles, news reporting etc. that built up my skills base.
Now, nearly half a year later, when I look back on my novel writing I can only cringe. Really I had no clue what I was doing with regards to "writing for the rest of my life". Look at any successful Fantasy author and you'll notice one huge thing: they all writing in series. I mean jeez, Wheel of Time doesn't look like it's stopping anytime soon, does it?
I'm not saying "I am a Fantasy writer, therefore I must write in series" - however you can't deny that series do sell far better and that publishers/agents are more willing to take a chance on them. I think the real realisation was that though writing is artistic and creative, you have got to treat it with a level head and a calculating business-like fashion.
That's why I get annoyed when I see people online posting fragments of things: "Here's something I wrote, I dont know what I'm doing with it, or where it's going..." I'm like, why waste your energy? I don't recommend getting locked into a series if it's not for you, however there's something to be said for direction when writing. A lot of energy is wasted with these homeless fragments and though they make great writing exercises, it's still not work on your novel, which advances your dream non further.
Meh, maybe I'm just talking out my arse. All I know is that, once I'd returned to my writing after taking such a break, I knew I needed to get my head out of the clouds and down to business. So I decided to take my 7 odd started-but-never-finished novels, plus the ideas for some of their sequals and create one big series of 10 books. Each book will be an independant read in its own right, however each one follows a different character - if that makes any sense.
Example: Book 1 would be about character A and him growing up and saving the world [I said "example", ok? Put down the pitchfork]. Book two would have him in it, but the main character would be someone else and the story would be about her, with Character A in a supporting role. Book three would take a new character, but have character A [if he's still alive >_^] and the main character from the last book as supports.
All the novels would be set in the same world, but the countries and nations themselves would change as the books progressed.
Writing 10 books will take many years of my life, but it's like eating an elephant, you just take it one piece at a time. So I've started plotting out the first book. Many would think that having such a detailed layout for writing is stiffling and claustraphobic, but personally it calms me to know what I write now will have a ripple effect later on and that I can see it in the plots of the next novels.
Jeez, I'm nearly after writing an entire novel here! Sorry, I am a chatter box. I'll try not post too much later on, to save your poor eyes :_P