A beacon for the sinister
I go, I flow
This is not the only life
I will ever know
Speaking words within words
Penned in lonely prisons
I am reading the Greater Key of Solomon with the intent of working some of the ideas I find there into my own writing. It would work in The Gnostic, and probably Locked and Loaded. I am also putting a lot of thought into a fantasy project where it would work perfectly.
On another note, I’ve been thinking about practice. I finished the first rewrite of The Gnostic, and am halfway through the second rewrite. I set it aside for a couple of months to get started on Killshot, and get my head off of it so I can look at it later with fresh eyes. I often wonder if my writing is any good; it’s a common enough anxiety for budding authors. I’m not sure The Gnostic is there, or ever will be without massive reconstructive surgery, but I have to admit, the latest version is far and away so much better than the first draft.
I have also advanced in terms of organization. A lot of writers use outlines and lots of notes, or so I’ve heard. I use spreadsheets. I use tons of spreadsheets. I have the entire Locked and Loaded series mapped out in one spreadsheet, including all of the story arc information, what happens at what point in each novel, and each chapter summary for each novel. There are a lot of worksheets and each one of those has a lot of columns. Still, it’s not hard to follow.
All of that said, I hope I’m not a talentless hack! That would suck.
It’s been eight days since I posted about outlining my first Locked and Loaded novel, Kill Shot. Here I am now posting that I have just wrapped up the ninth chapter in that book. Kill Shot is coming together in a fairly cohesive manner; I guess the system I have developed works really well for me, and as it stands now I might be able to release a novel every six months. With the massive hurdle of keeping everything organized out of the way I can now focus on my writing style. It needs some work. That said, it’s just another benchmark on my way to… well wherever it is that this thing is going. I think not stopping is probably crucial!
I am taking a break away from The Gnostic and writing the outline for the first Locked and Loaded novel, Kill Shot. between The Gnostic, Locked and Loaded, and two other series projects I have lined up, I am not going to run out of things to write. Ever.
The second rewrite of The Gnostic is going great, and I hope to be done by the end of the year. The first rewrite was really a complete top to bottom writing of a second book using the same characters, overall plot, and reworked scenes. I guess in that sense I have written two novels already. The first draft was terrible, and will never see the light of day, though. Really terrible. At any rate, rewriting now is more like molding clay than engineering a complete building. I’m just reworking existing material to make it flow, read better, and include more detail.
I’m also making Trudy crazier.
At 116,625 words, 415 hours of editing time, and 2.5 years, the second draft of the novel is done. Now it is time to get started on the hopefully final pass through. After having learned about the process what I have learned, the next novel should only take a year or so, and thank God! This thing has taken over 4 years total.
At some point the protagonist for my novel, The Gnostic, Book One: Initiate, began performing Christ-like miracles and even grew a beard with longish hair. It just kind of crept up on me! They do develop on their own sometimes.
Wow. Right now The Gnostic, Book One: Initiate is sitting at 106,171 words with five chapters left in this rewrite. I believe it will be wrapped up at 120-130,000 words with the next rewrite, and then I polish it all up… and set it aside until I am done with the second book in the trilogy.
So the thought occurs to me from time to time; what do I do if it flops? Easy. Start a new novel. I figure you get better with every attempt. This is actually my third or fourth attempt at a novel, and I have never gotten past chapter six or seven before now. Whether it succeeds or not, this novel was a breakthrough for me. It’d be a waste not to keep at it now!
Yes, it’s been a while since I last posted. No, I don’t have an excuse for this lapse. So what do I have? Only the recommendation for one of the greatest writers of our time. David Wong (aka Jason Pargin), the author of John Dies at the End, is brilliant. I am reading John Dies right now, and can’t wait to start on Spiders. I know genius when I see it: William S. Burroughs, Franz Kafka, Howard Philips Lovecraft, and Charles Bukowski all qualify. I’d put Wong (Pargin) in this category, no hesitation. Go get his book NOW!
That said, I almost done with the first rewrite of The Gnostic: Book One, and my test readers are loving it. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but my test readers are some ruthless motherfuckers. I do not use that word lightly; you should read their reviews of the rough draft! God willing they won’t see the light of day ever again. They were brutal, and almost hurt my feelings. The next rewrite won’t be nearly as involved, and shouldn’t take nearly as long.
Artists of all kinds whether they are writers, sculptors, poets, or painters, are influenced by the art they consume. I am influenced mostly by music, movies, and books. I can’t say that paintings or carvings have had too much say in my own creations, but that isn’t to say that it couldn’t happen. At any rate, I am adding links to some bands and such that have had an impact on my own writing. Right now I am watching “John Dies at the End,” and I have to say that this movie is surreal brilliance. What of this will I incorporate into Locked and Loaded? Certainly some!