Thursday, September 04, 2008

Next Project

I've been contemplating what project to take up after I finish Babylon, mainly because it's never too early to start doing book research and working out plot points.

Basically, I can work on the 5-book fantasy saga about genocide, polyamorous matriarchy, and the end of the world, or I can write the standalone book about genocide and gender roles (or, what I think of as my "far-future Rwanda with four suns" book, or more elegantly, my "burning cane fields" book).

The upshot to the fantasy series is that book 1 and several chapters of book 2 are already finished. The downside is, it's a trunk novel, and to my eye, it reads like a trunk novel. I don't want this to be my Banewrecker. So I'm thinking I would do a ground up rewrite (but then, I've rewritten this book so many effing times that I honestly have no idea if it's good or not and requires a ground up rewrite. A ground up rewrite just seems like the least lazy thing to do).

It's also five books, which, if the bel dame books do well, means regular pay checks. And all five books have outlines. Which makes for a much easier writing process. Also - it's a more marketable little package than anything else I've written (I think. I have no idea when it comes to marketing anymore).

The downside is: it's old, and I feel like some of my 19 year old self who wrote the original version back in the day is still seeping through the cracks on occasion. Also, though 5 books mean steady paychecks, it also means... 5 books in that world. Roughly 5 years of my life all dedicated to writing those books. Not that that should bother me, since I've been working on that world on and on since I was 12. So, that may not be a drawback, just a fact to think about.

No doubt they would be easier to write.

I'm also thinking that the burning cane fields book may not have reached fruition yet anyway. I love the concept and the world, but the worldbuilding isn't done, and more importantly, the character building isn't done. I have an idea of who these people are, but I don't have their names yet, and they aren't real people until I have their names. That's just sort of how my process works. Until I have solid characters, I can't get very far.

The upside is, it's just one book. The down side is, it's a very big and complicated book with a complex world and a lot of stuff going on.

Maybe I can just work on both. So during the 5 years I'm punching out Dragon's War books, I'll be slowly twindling around with The Burning Fields. That gives me five years to write shitty drafts of it!

And then I'll deliver the last book of the Dragon's War series and have tBF ready to go.

I would like to be a lot more prolific than I am. Lots of people have families and day jobs and are producing two books a year, or a book and a ton of shorts (OK, not a *lot* of people, but some people). I hate the short form, so I'd prefer to do like, say, a book and a half a year.

I have the ability to do it. It's a matter of scheduling my time properly, and fitting in all the other stuff I want in my life (professional life, social life, fitness, traveling, etc.).

Hey, I can be ambitious.

At the same time, I want to make sure I'm writing good books, which is why Black Desert isn't due until May but I have a draft in August. I need all that time for rewrites and revisions and revisits.

I don't want to write books that suck.

And now I need to figure out what other books I need to write that don't suck.

1 comments so far. Got something to say?

Michael said...

I'll offer the boring "ask your agent if she has a suggestion on what to work on next" advice, since it's usually one of the points of having an agent. Especially a good one.