As I've mentioned before, every day I'm discovering, navigating, and learning the world of authorship-ism-ology. So far, the phases seem to break down like this:
- Deciding to take writing seriously - taking a chance
- Starting a business with my writing friend now partner
- Co-writing my first book and actually publishing it for people to read, love it or hate it
- Learning how to market myself
Before I delve into the fourth and final book in The Ending Series, Before The Dawn, which we start outlining in January, I've decided to flesh out and better develop a manuscript I wrote in high school--a story currently called Reilly. Given the fact that my writing experience 15 years ago was somewhat limited, Reilly is merely a rough outline to work off of. BUT National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is in November--just around the corner--and my goal is to have the first draft of Reilly completely written by November 30th. That means I've started developing the plot, outlining, character building, content writing, and so much more NOW so that I'm ready come November 1. This new project is both awesome/fun/exciting and daunting/difficult/time consuming.
If you've ever participated in NaNoWriMo, you know you're either one of two types of writers: a "planner" who has an outline and plan for the story before you sit down and delve in. This could be chapter by chapter notes or an overall, more general plan. OR you're a "pantser", someone who writes without much of a plan at all...you let the story and characters lead you when you're "in the zone". I'm clearly a planner, I have a badge for it and everything:
The bare-bones...until my characters decide differently:
- Samantha's had a life filled with abandonment and heartache, and most recently she has Reilly to blame for her life being turned completely upside down, or so she thinks.
- When Reilly decides to enlist in the military, she couldn't be more happy or relieved.
- But the loss of her father isn't where it ends. Soon her boyfriend ditches her, leaving her alone with a shattered heart and overwhelming emptiness she yearns to fill. Luckily she has her friends and family to rely on, but coping is one thing Sam's never been all that good at.
- A couple years later, when Reilly comes back to town on leave, Sam's forced to look at two things - what really happened that night that continues to haunt her, that night all those years ago that Reilly took her father from her, and what the hell is she going to do about it?
- While Reilly wants her to let him in, to know the truth, she's not ready to listen or forgive him. Opening herself up to yet one more person is counterproductive in her plan to "stay in control" of her life.
- But in the end, Sam has to ask herself what's more important, grasping on to the past or taking a chance on an unknown future, one that is sure to leave her vulnerable, but is the only way she'll ever be able to move on.
I have some great characters in mind for this story, and the series in general. There's comic relief (my personal favorite), the characters I hope will make you cry, and as always, those who will make readers swoon. Although still in the early stages, hopefully this is going to be a story that pulls at people's heartstrings as much as it makes them laugh out loud.
Over the next few weeks, I'll be sharing with you some of my thinking and writing processes with you. I'll delve deeper into:
- how I discover more about my characters
- building a setting and choosing certain elements of a story
- brainstorming and outlining
- building a new series from scratch - a first look at book two and three
- title, cover rework, and official blurb process
It's all about FOCUS, which is difficult to attain when you have way too many ideas floating around in your head, like me.