Sunday, October 16, 2011

Crimsonstreak 2 & A Game of Thrones

It was a hectic week at work, which made it difficult to get any blogging done in addition to my writing. I spent most of my time this week working on my Crimsonstreak sequel or reading Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire.

As far as Crimsonstreak 2 goes, I'm off and running. By the end of the day, I'll have cracked the 60,000 word mark as the first draft starts to come to a close. I wrote the first Crimsonstreak fairly quickly, and the sequel is coming along nicely. I think the first draft of this one will be much more polished than the first draft of the original book. You can chalk that up to experience and becoming a better writer. Truly, my writing in 2011 is superior to my writing in 2007 in every way.

The sequel's plot is getting a little out of control, some characters are underused, and I'm worried that some of the lunacy is a little too "out there." I have several different factions in this book, and when I go through and revise, I think I'll have to streamline. I also wanted to have a bunch of interstellar cops like the Green Lanterns, so I added them to this book. I'm not sure it's an entirely successful venture, but the only thing I can do is keep writing to see where the idea goes.

The first book plays with the conventions of parallel worlds/alternate dimensions, but the sequel absolutely blows them out. I'm not going to reveal much of the plot (partially because of secrecy and partially because this is still the first draft), but let's just say the Crimsonstreak universe employs a lot of variable realities/timelines. It's fun, but also exhausting to track. The nice thing about parallel universes is the ability to see the different possibilities of what a character may have become. It also allows me to bring back (in limited form) a character who didn't survive the first book.

The first draft is approximately 75% done. I'm shooting for 80,000 words for the main adventure. It's currently missing some character vignettes (the first book is filled with these mini-scenes, which I feel give the main character and the others a little more depth). I imagine these little flashback scenes will end up adding four or five thousand words to the main story.

After the main narrative is complete, I'm going to start working on the "extra" material. The first book is unique in that it includes a ton of meta-fiction. The first-person perspective of Crimsonstreak makes it difficult to talk about other characters without feeling forced. To combat that, I wrote a bunch of newspaper & magazine articles, character journal entries, and bios to fill in some of the gaps. The material was a blast to write! For the sequel, this material isn't quite as necessary (returning characters like Colonel Chaos, Miss Lightspeed, and the Crusading Comet will already be familiar to those who've read the first book). However, with a three-year gap between the events that conclude Crimsonstreak and the beginning of Crimsonstreak 2, I have some opportunities to outline major developments in the story world that only get a passing mention in the book. I'll probably drum up some more character bios as well.

I'm trying to get as much work done on the sequel as I can. I anticipate receiving revision notes for I, Crimsonstreak very soon, and those will pretty much take over my life for a month or two.

I'm also trying to power through Game of Thrones, which I've found very enjoyable. I remember looking at all the books in the A Song of Ice and Fire saga in the bookstore a long time ago and saying, "There's no way I could ever read that." Well, thanks to the advent of Kindle library lending, I'm giving it a chance. I'm more of a science fiction guy than a fantasy-slash-medieval world fan, but the writing is excellent and the characters are wonderfully realized. It's just hard to juggle reading such a long book, working on my own writing, and going to work.

Ah, but that's what most writers have to do. I've heard the HBO series is very good, and thought I'd give the books a shot. When I'm finished, I hope to catch the HBO series on DVD.

So far, this is about all that's going on in my corner of the writing world. I have several short stories sitting idle on my computer right now. I also have a list of story ideas in my trusty notebook, but right now it's time to focus on my Crimsonstreak sequel and catch up on some reading.