Once again, I’ve got another novel in my head- that make’s six now: 1 series (3 novels), half a series (2 novels) and the first of another series. Usually, when I finish a novel or short story I wonder, just for fun, how it would go if I continued it. Most of the time, nothing comes from it but sometimes the idea plants itself in my mind and I can’t help but create scene after scene until it becomes a full blown story.
Even before I do any character mapping or world building, everything becomes real. Some characters aren’t even fully fleshed out but they seem as real the characters I’ve spent a lot of time developing. Their situations fit so well into the previous novel without me planning it that way. Even the world, which undoubtedly needs some work, becomes a real place in my mind.
Although I’ve worked on 2 novels extensively, they’re still pretty rough. When I first wrote them, I didn’t intend them to be a part of a series so, now I have to take into account other books will build off of them. The novels I plan on working on well into the future, I write in a journal only. To me, putting it in a Word Doc is a commitment to seriously work on it and right now, those novels are really really rough drafts. I call them the draft before the draft.
Despite this, I’ve been able to keep to my one-novel-at-a-time plan. I’m not feeling overwhelmed and I don’t feel I’m neglecting the novel I’d been working on for months simply because another came to mind. Wiring the new novels only in a journal helps me prioritize. All my novels are important but the ones on the computer get my attention first.
It’s funny how these novels are turning into series because I was resistant to the idea for a long time. I understood why people wrote series I just didn’t want to. But, because of these stories, I love figuring out creative ways of telling the story over three books. I’m still having trouble, though, with the overarching story for the first series. I’ve written the character’s origins- how the first creature came to be, how each generation led to creatures with different abilities and where the villains came from but I don’t like it. I can’t figure out why though. This is where the journal comes in again. Typing on a computer is great but writing it out helps me visualize. Writing novels, building worlds is a puzzle. You have all the pieces and now you must make them all fit together seamlessly.
I keep thinking, for an unpublished writer, having 6 novels planned may be a bit much but I can’t help it. They just keep coming to me. The stories commit to me before I commit to them. But even if I could stop them, I wouldn’t.