Creativity is an exciting way to channel our imagination, and I’m fortunate to be able to channel my own creativity into my writing. I’m no Shakespeare, but it’s an integral part of my life; I couldn’t imagine a day without writing and, on the rare occasions when that happens, I feel incredibly uncomfortable. I always find time to write something every day, even if it isn’t very much.
This year, things are quite exciting; most writers seek publication of one form or another, and I’m fortunate enough to have already been published twice – with my next book coming out in October this year. It’s called Elysium’s Shadow, and it’s the start of an entirely new series of books … I hope. I had never intended to write any sequels to any of my books, but there you have it; Leap of Faith followed on from Fall From Grace, although I was determined to never make it a trilogy – I hadn’t got enough plot line to stretch it out artificially over three rather than two books – and now Elysium’s Shadow has become the first book in The Chronicles of Elysium.
I’d always had a lot of ideas about the world of Elysium – that’s the centre of the series – and created a lot of backstory that I just couldn’t fit into the book. There was certainly enough material there for a couple more books at least – well, at least the bare bones of a couple more stories (whether I can flesh them out or not is another matter) – and the thought had vaguely fermented in the back of my mind that I could create a few short stories out of them. Perhaps. If I particularly felt so inclined.
But then the idea for a second book started to make more sense. I liked the characters I’d created in Elysium’s Shadow, and found myself wondering what they would be doing after the book ended. I was fairly confident I could see at least a little while into their future – I was always confident that they would steer me in the right direction after I started writing – and so decided to actually start writing something and see how it progressed.
Well, I said that I was confident the characters would talk me through the process; I’d worked the backstory out, so was sure that I’d be able to just go with the flow. Well, as I write this, I’m being proved a liar, at least for the moment; I can’t seem to get anywhere with the current story. I’ve even edited the entire story twice to tidy up a few loose ends and got it down to a manageable 48,000 words at the moment. I feel confident where I’ve left all the characters; there’s been some conflict, all the personalities are where they should be, and now I can’t work out where the hell I’m taking it. The characters have gone quiet.
But that doesn’t mean I’m going to go quiet; I can work on other things whilst they rest and come back to me hen they’re ready. It does sound odd, I suppose, talking about a sequel to a book that’s not even been published yet, but we’re currently in a “false dawn” phase of the process; Elysium’s Shadow is pretty much ready to go now, with the editing done, the cover complete, and I’ve even written the acknowledgements and dedication. So I find myself at a loose end when that book is currently sat in a queue in Inspired Quill‘s “pending” tray until it gets its turn to be printed and dispatched.
But what shall I work on whilst the creativity has stopped flowing on the sequel? Well, I have other outlets, which I’m thankful for; this blog being one of them. I haven’t written much here for a while, having been distracted by fiction (which is a rather nice distraction, of course), but I might as well make the most of my block in one area and encourage it in another.
Oh yes, I’ve just thought, I’ve got quite a few short stories languishing in development hell as well; maybe it’s time for me to dust them off and do some work there as well. See, there’s always things a writer can do if they think … aha … creatively enough.