The excitement of a new book, and how I learned from the last one.

So I briefly posted that I was moving on from The Sometimes Sword, and I wanted to kind of dig in deeper and explain what I'm doing now.

After an initial decision to leave TSS as a stepping stone and nothing more, I have now amended my way of thinking, and decided to leave it as a work in progress for now, to be picked up at a later (much later) date. Right now I need to focus on improving my craft, and while useful, editing an old story isn't working toward that end.

So I've decided to start a new book, this time in a different way. In the post about My Beginnings, I talked about how I started TSS with absolutely no world building or character development. That was the direct opposite to my first work where I world-builded the crap out of it (and that failed horribly). With this book, I am seeking a balance between the two methods. I want to have a more engaging plot and conflict, along with a more detailed and fleshed out world. This requires some basic world-details and plotting before hand. However, just as with TSS, I want the focus to be character and I will continue to steer toward that. Another important point is that of Discovery with a capital "d". I find that if I world-build too much, I lose my own sense of excitement and discovery as I write and garden the book. So yeah, that's something to keep in mind also.

Really, I want this post to be aimed at what TSS did for me as a writer, and what I can take away from it. I won't go into the specific details, but I want to highlight the process I used to make sure I learned all I could from it.

First, I wrote down a list of fundamental flaws withing TSS. (I used a giant 24x16 whiteboard. I have three of them, and seriously, they are so useful.) Then I had Becky and my alpha readers Travis and Robyn write up a list on another board, this time with everything that was good in the book.

Once I had both lists hanging on the wall, Becky and I went through them and defined the underlying issues/successes of each. I transferred them to a computer document and began to explore the methods of fixing/achieving each. This way, I essentially made a writer's guide for myself, allowing me to build a better book the next time around.

I'm in the middle of some foundational world building, and hopefully at the start of next week I'll begin writing the first draft. I'm excited to start this new project, and hopefully I'll experience the same level of improvement as I did when I first started TSS.

What are you working on right now?

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