Friday, February 10, 2012

Predetermination and inspiration

I’ve been told there are two types of writers: people who create outlines for their books (known as “plotters”) and then people who write by the seat of their pants (known as “pantsers”). I’m sure there are all sorts of people in between.

For me, I had a basic idea for The Hidden Sun. However, I tend to be more of a “pantser” because as I write, ideas will come to me that I’d not thought of before, or even really considered. Looking back, those are some of my favorite things I’ve written. (Example: the first part of Chapter 10 and the Epilogue.)

I remember thinking at one point in time while writing my first book, “How in the world is this going to end?” Fortunately, I figured something out.

For the follow up, The Waxing Moon, I decided to do more of an outline. I spent a good deal of time figuring out the characters and sequence of events. I still had those moments of inspiration as I wrote, but overall, I stayed true to my outline. When I finished, I discovered something unsettling: Whereas The Hidden Sun was just shy of 100,000 words, The Waxing Moon was barely over 60,000. I didn’t want there to be such a difference, so I created a second outline to continue the story.

A possible idea of what the cover may look like.

Great idea, right?

Well, really not so much.

My beta readers picked up right away what I’d done. My good friend Randy even said, “It was like you wrote a book, then wrote another one.”

So, I went back to the drawing board—sort of.

During this time, I was getting a lot of feedback from readers about The Hidden Sun. The reviews were overwhelmingly positive. While reading through them, I got an idea for a subplot I could interweave into The Waxing Moon. In the end, I chopped off the last part I’d written and I went back and wrote the subplot. I was very pleased at the end how it added to the book.

So what about the part that I chopped off? Let’s just say I have a good head start on writing the next book in the series, The Zealous Star.

1 comment:

  1. oh jason that sounds so awesome, I would love to know what you decided to add to this story!

    Debbie plus I love your blog!IT looks so great!