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.