Thursday, September 20, 2012

Writerly Freedom

Now before I start this post, let me just preface it by saying I love my series Heirs of War. I'm on the third of five books mapped out in my head and it is an epic story that has a special place in my heart. But...it is also an extremely complicated story. There's political intrigue, wars, magic, other races, racial tension, love stories, FIVE freaking main characters and about twenty other important characters, growth of every single character, plots, subplots, etc. I've had to spend a lot of time mapping things out and plotting the plots of each character carefully. I've had to do research and create these races, create the magic system, the government...There's been a whole lot more planning than actual writing. But it's necessary to make it what it is. Which I hope to be good.

I've decided to take a breather from my series though. Book three just wasn't jiving for me. So I decided to work on my queries and editing. I never planned on writing a different book entirely that had nothing to do with my series. But here I am, 5k in and loving every minute of it.

The book I am currently writing is pretty far outside of my comfort zone. For one, it is really and truly young adult. The main character is sixteen. Heirs of War is New Adult through and through. The main characters ages range from seventeen (which quickly turns to eighteen) to twenty four. Those ages feel more familiar to me. I can relate to those ages better. So trying to remember what it was like to be sixteen is a bit of a struggle. Another reason it is outside of my comfort zone is because it has absolutely no magic in it whatsoever. There's parallel dimensions, but no magic. I'm a big fantasy geek so my instinct always leans towards magic of some kind in whatever I write.

The last reason this new WIP is so far outside of my comfort zone? Well, that's the biggest one. It is a first person narrative. I'm not even a big fan of reading first person narratives. I find them very limiting. Did I like Hunger Games? Sure. But I think it would have been better as a third person pov because then we'd see a lot more. I might have even liked the books beyond Twilight if they'd been third person. Maybe Bella wouldn't have been so annoying to me in book two if that had been the case. Maybe.

But I digress. Even thought this new WIP is so far outside my comfort zone as a writer, I also find it incredibly freeing. It's a simple standalone book. No series. No magic. No extreme plotting necessary. I have the beginning, middle, and end vaguely outlined in my head and that's really all I need. Then I just sit down and pants it. And 5k into it, I'm pretty pleased with how it's going. And the best part is I am pretty sure my word count will end up being around 70k. If you follow this blog, you know how word count tends to be the bane of my existence. Well, one of them. I like to say a lot of things outside of the actual writing are the bane of my existence, which those of you who follow this blog probably know already.

I planned on writing this new WIP (tentatively titled "Life As I Know It" but I suck at naming things, so it will probably get renamed. Heirs of War was original called The Circle or Sisters of The Circle. My genius friend renamed it to Heirs of War.) for NaNoWriMo. Since I've been writing it for 2 days and already have 5k, I get the feeling that it will be finished by then and I'll end up going back to book three. But I think this might be exactly what I need to get me past the hump that I hit with book three. It's renewing my love of writing and the freedom and cathartic feelings that come along with creating something new.

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