I’ve had a couple of random thoughts about writing that struck me in the last few days. Between working on the fifth book in the H&W Investigations series, reading novels for pleasure, doing a beta read, and staying up until 2:30AM discussing writing with a friend this week, I’ve had a lot on my mind.
One thing that I feel is taken for granted by writers–myself included–is that you occasionally get so caught up in the dramatics and the deadlines and the wangsting on the internet and elsewhere that you forget why you’re writing (if you do so professionally or with the intent of having others read your work).
Some people have a message. Some people want to make you open your eyes and look at the world in a new light. Some people just want to write what makes them happy.
Me? I think I’m a combination of the above. I write what makes me happy while making sure I do it in a style that is easy to read and follow along with, fast-paced, and (though it may not seem like it at times) has a broader “end-game” goal in sight. Every book or short story is somehow connected to that bigger picture, and pushes things along towards my vision for the overall plot.
Sometimes it takes a long time for a plot to resolve in a series. Other times, not so much. I’m enjoying going at my own pace, though I do have to keep notes for myself so I can keep track of all the crap happening behind the scenes and all of the subplots “visible” to the reader so I ensure I eventually wrap them all up in a neat little package. There are a few subtle things that date all the way back to HUNTED BY THE OTHERS that I know have not been addressed yet, and won’t be for a while. I’m okay with that–as long as I eventually get a shot at wrapping the series up the way I feel it deserves.
When reading someone else’s writing, it’s easier to see the places where they need work. Most likely because you’re looking at it with fresh eyes. You don’t see what they see—you just see what’s on the page before you.
When reading your own work, it can be much harder to spot simple things like typos and grammar errors. However, you can also miss entire plotlines/subplots in the process. You may have thought about it so hard that you never fully fleshed it out in your story—only thought you did because you spent so much time ruminating on the subject.
I have a lot of that to worry about considering the direction I took with STALKING THE OTHERS. Not to spoiler anything, but I do leave a number of unanswered questions and a few obvious, open-ended plotlines in that book. It’s hardly as bad as what I did with the ending to DECEIVED BY THE OTHERS, but there are still an awful lot of subplots that I need to resolve and questions I need to answer almost immediately in book five (the working title is FORSAKEN BY THE OTHERS – this is subject to change).
One thing that I’m enjoying is going back to writing the funny stuff. Now that the worst of the drama llama ridonkulousness of the DBTO/STO plotline has been resolved, I can, for the most part, take a lighter tone again. Plus, ya know, zombies. Who doesn’t like a few animated, rotting corpses shuffling around in their UF, eh?
Anyway, I was probably going somewhere with this train of thought, but now all I can think about are “braaaaaains” and drama llamas. Go figure.