Posts Tagged ‘Origins’

Well, I have not posted in a while, so here it is. A post.

Writing wise, I’m starting book 3, Extinction, and so far I’m really liking it. Just the way the book is set up, I can jump into the action immediately. I’m about 4,000 words in, and if the stars align, I’ll be setting pretty at 10,000 by the end of Sunday. I’m hoping to get into a good flow.

I’m pretty excited about this one. It’s going to be long, I can feel it. The characters have a lot of things to do, and they are not easy things. I would not be surprised at all if this one clocks in at 70,000 words or more.

This book will be very different from either Apocalypse or Origins. One, there will not be as many monsters. Or at least, I don’t think there will be. Actually…yes. There will be monsters, because monsters are cool. Scratch the entire beginning of this paragraph.

In this one, all the world building that’s been alluded to in previous books will come out in full force. The characters will be traveling to all the places mentioned, like the Empire, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. I’m very excited to explore not just these areas, but also the people that inhabit them. From Book 1 to Book 2, the world of the Wasteland expanded. Book 3 will be the same, and in fact the characters will spend the majority of their time outside the Wasteland. The pace will be a bit slower. Slower might not be the right word. Maybe thicker? I don’t know. Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.

Kind of like Book 2, Book 3 will very much be a Point A to Point B to Point C quest-type of book. Quest books are fun (think Lord of the Rings), but they can suffer predictability, because you know exactly where the characters will end up on the different legs of their journey. Hopefully I can find some way to mix it up…and just now writing this, it’s jogged my brain into thinking of the solution that creates more problems. Problems=good, as far as storytelling goes.

There will still be plenty of action – that’s sort of what Books 1 and 2 are about. But I’m not going to allow myself to rush too much. I think Book 3 is where The Wasteland Chronicles will finally find its heart, somehow. I’m not outlining anything, but am just going along with what’s in my head currently, hoping that I can surprise myself along the way.

In fact, outside of what I’ve written down just now, I don’t know much about Book 3. I have a feeling it could be the best one yet, and it is possible the scope of it might force a splitting into two books. Hopefully, I don’t have to do that, as it would mean my five book series would now be a six books series. But there’s something about the number six that does seem right for how long a series is…and that would give me a chance to use my alternate title for Book 4, and in that case Book 5 would take Book 4’s current title. Sorry if that was confusing.

Actually maybe I should do six books now…or not? I don’t know. We’ll see how long this one is, and if there is a logical place to split up the two. Definitely if it creeps up to 80,000 words, I’ll want to split it in half, which means the next time I release a book, I would probably be releasing two at the same time.

Actually, now that I mention that, I really, really like that idea. Hopefully it works out, or maybe that’s just the coffee talking.

I know for sure that I will not be releasing a 90,000 word novel. I want to keep each installment short, between 40 to 60 thousand words, because I like the episodic nature of the books. I think novellas work really well on Kindle.

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A couple days earlier than expected, I’ve released Origins.

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In this book, the team continues on their mission to discover the origins of the xenovirus, and it has some very surprising twists, especially toward the end.

I had a lot of fun writing this book, and am ready to start Book 3 as soon as I know how to proceed.

You can find the book here.

Now that I’ve finished the fourth draft of Origins, I am somewhat twiddling my thumbs. The break is good and well-earned, but I find myself wondering about my next thing. There’s a fantasy novella I halfway wrote about a year ago that I’d like to revisit. Some ideas have been developing in my head on that front. It would be a good break from the Wasteland, as writing Origins was more work than I expected. In the end, I think that was a good thing. It taught me to not underestimate the amount of work necessary to do a good job…or at least what I hope is a good job.

One of my beta readers has already read it. She got back to me within two days and let me know she really liked it and it was better than the first. This is really encouraging because I had no idea whether it was good or bad. Her feedback is having me rethink one of the characters and I already have some ideas churning in my head that I’ll need to sleep on. It would maybe add 5,000 words to the story and a reworking of the ending. Not that the current ending is bad, per se, but this would make it much better. Whenever there’s a trilogy, or in my case a four book series, there needs to be a dark moment where all seems lost. I’ve thought of a way to raise the stakes way higher than I had them before in terms of the characters and their relationships. Only thing is, I don’t know if I can pull it off, yet.  It could be the case that I write that scene in my next book, but I think it could work here as well.

I don’t know, my thoughts are kind of skewed on it, so we’ll see.

In the meantime I’ll be thinking of what to do next. Eventually I’d like to do a map and a glossary, and possibly appendices, that would go more in depth into the world of the Wasteland, its critters, and the science of how it all works. Not real science, this is fiction after all, but I’d like there to be more of a basis for how it all works. I’d have to sci-ency research stuff so I don’t sound like a complete imbecile, but I’m fine by that. This extra stuff would be about twenty thousand words or so, maybe longer.

I’ve also been thinking about doing a prequel to Apocalypse. I have title called Darkness in my mind, and it would follow the story of Alex’s grandfather and father during the Dark Decade, ending with them being holed up in Bunker 108.

I think a prequel could be very cool. It would add a lot of depth to a time period only alluded to in the series: what would it be like for the whole world to watch its demise approach in the form of a meteor over ten years? If nothing else, it would make interesting speculative fiction. A prequel would give me the opportunity to explore that.

I don’t know if I would write that one next, or after all is said and done. It would make the series five books total, and probably 200,000 words (or more). Appendices included, more than that.

I think adding a bestiary (nerd alert!) for all the different kind of monsters found in the Wasteland would be really cool. And there a lot of critters, and more are being added as I think of them. Apocalypse contained some infected wolves and ,of course infected, people, not counting plants, but the virus does some pretty crazy things to Earth life in book 2.

I think having all that done by the end of this year would be very, very cool. And granted I do get it all done, I will be a much better writer at the end of it. I can go on to something else that’s even better than this. Hopefully.

The perfect end to this year would be to have all (prospectively) five books in one volume, available in both e-format and physical format, with maps, appendices, and a glossary, as well as having them available as separate titles, with some slick formatting, a table of contents., and NO typos…typos shall always and forevermore be my bane, Achilles tendon, and kryptonite, pick your cliche. However, the prospect of doing all that is exciting. I’d like to hold a book thicker than War & Peace in my hand and say, “Yeah. This book thing. I wrote it. BAZINGA!”

Although, War & Peace is about 550k words, or so I hear, so it would still be twice as long as anything I wrote. It’s the principle that matters, folks!

And, there is always my romance novel I want to write. I have more ideas than I know what to do with. I guess an overabundance of ideas is a good thing for a writerly fellow like me.

Normally this would the be the hour I write on my book, but I’m exhausted. I’m still trying to adjust to a new sleep schedule  because I have to be at my new job at seven. I went to bed at 8:30 last night and probably couldn’t sleep till after midnight.

Sleeping has always been hard for me. Half the time I’ll fall asleep fairly decently, but the other half of the time my brain won’t turn off. It wasn’t that bad last night because my brain plotted out a good portion of the second book of The Wasteland Chronicles, and I started getting really excited at the possibilities. Ultimately, if what I have in mind comes to the page, it will be better than Apocalypse, more mysterious, and much darker…and of course, the stakes will never have been higher.

It’s hard to imagine getting any darker than Apocalypse, where my MC Alex deals with death and hopelessness galore (but he refuses to give up). Alex will deal with the same, only a greater scale in Origins. And this time, there is a hidden enemy that is very real that is trying to stop him.

As he crosses the Wasteland to seek answers, it sort of becomes like the Odyssey, where myth starts intermixing with science in unexpected ways. Like ApocalypseOrigins will be a book about finding hope in hopelessness.

Originally, I never thought book two would be darker than book one. Apocalypse was plenty dark already, and I really wrestled with whether a certain character should be killed off in that one. In addition to the three heroes (or anti-heroes in some cases), the posse will be getting two new additions – Li (pronounced “Lie”), a stoic, female katana wielder who finds her life’s purpose in following a long dead samurai code, and Lisa, a passionate yet dangerous ex-raider who has it out for the MC.

They will be journeying a thousand miles west, through harsh desert, twisted landscapes perverted by the xenovirus, meeting both friend and foe along the way…along with a mysterious, blind prophet who calls himself “The Wanderer,” a man born in the Old World who watched Ragnarok fall and saw his life burned up forever.

And of course, answers will be provided at the end – the kind that will lead to more questions, setting the stage for book three and possibly a book four. These questions will be answered: what is the xenovirus? Where did it come from? Why is it doing what it’s doing? And can it be stopped?

Some guesses people have made might be right…but so far, no one has guessed the whole truth.

Well…that is somewhat my blurb. Probably much in there that won’t be in actual blurb (I like my blurbs short and snappy), but you get the drift. And of course any of this is subject to change at any moment. I haven’t even plotted an outline yet, although I am very ready to get started. I think I need to let my novella Dark Prophecies cool off for a bit. It’s too close, and I fear it may not be good enough. I tried to keep it simple, but too many things are going on in the 40,000 words that I’m going to have some lines to make the overall thing read well.

In the meantime, I’m probably going to start on Origins soon. I just need a good night’s rest before I dive in, which will either be tomorrow or Saturday.