A Random Literary Thought

Every so often while I’m writing, a stray thought pops into my head and I have to stop and ponder its significance.  Most stray thoughts drift out whence they came and some stick around long enough to get written down. I guess that’s how it works.

Today’s random thought involves retooling Lights and Shadows so that I can fold it into The Parallax Universe as the lead book in a new series that will pick up where The Parallax Trilogy ends.  Of course, that means changing a bunch of stuff (timeline, some characters, etc) to line it all up with the events I’m currently leading up to.  That also means a delay of sorts since Parallax: Genesis and Darkfall haven’t been written yet.  Lights and Shadows was originally intended to be a spinoff set within the same story universe but about seven years into the story future.

Yes, I know that since it’s my story, I can do whatever I want with it.  Yes, I know that retooling L&S has the potential to put it on hold in favor of the Parallax Sequels.  Yes, I know that delays may push the release date way past the end of September and despite the hordes of voracious villagers assembling with pitchforks and torches, I would rather delay a release in favor of a better end result.

My inner voice tells me to consider very carefully before committing to an action like this because internal consistency is very important.

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Speaking for Myself

I know it’s been a while since my last post but I’ve been on the horns of a dilemma for the past few weeks. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing stories. Love em, love em, love em… I like to think of each story as a potential pilot for a new series.

On my computer, I have an Excel Spreadsheet that outlines the writing projects that I want to work on. It’s not easy for me to work on a schedule so when my inner rebel starts acting up, creativity tends to lag. I’m not making excuses, merely telling it like it is.

During a relatively sleepless night this past evening, I took advantage of the time to do a little self-analysis and I came to the conclusion that I have a bad habit of creating routines that aren’t sustainable over the long term. Lights and Shadows is moving along at a snail’s pace and while I have faith in its potential, I feel the pull of the Parallax Sequels.

In retrospect, I believe that I didn’t take enough time off between projects and because I made a personal commitment to Lights and Shadows, I’ve been feeling a little stuck. Down Time is important whether we realize it or not and while finishing by September is certainly attainable, creating new story worlds and characters for each and every individual story from scratch gets a little tedious after a time. However, the process is as it is and no amount of complaining on my part will change that. It feels good to vent a little though…hehe.

Back From Hiatus

I’m a tinkerer by nature so when I see something that isn’t working exactly as I want, I try to fix it. My writing “career” as it currently stands, needed a little examination to see if it needed some improvement. It did, but as I discovered, not in the ways that I originally thought. I’ve adjusted keywords, updated descriptions, rewrote blurbs; all the usual things to get the stories noticed.

As I updated, it occurred to me that I was spending more time adjusting what was already out there instead of the one thing that was most important: writing and releasing new material. Stories have limited shelf life and after a while, no amount of effort will improve them after a particular point. They run their course and have to be let go in favor of new material. That’s just the way of things.

I’ve read that a following doesn’t truly start until at least the fifth book and since Lights and Shadows is my fifth book before I jump back into The Parallax Trilogy, I take heart that although my current sales are less than stellar, I’m on the right path.

A Question of Priorities

I use a system of priorities when determining what story gets worked on over another. Lately, my system has been a little wonky because I’ve been divided between generating more interest for Corona, Vessel, The Three Safeties, and Parallax in addition to working on Lights and Shadows and planning Parallax’s two sequels.

To tell the truth, it’s all starting to feel like work…

The New Direction was supposed to finalize the last major changes for my first four books, internalize and record the steps necessary, and then cut them loose in favor of the new material that needs to be worked on. By cutting loose, I don’t mean abandoning them. Instead, I am recognizing that every book has a limited shelf life out there and after a certain amount of time has gone by, it’s time to move forward.

Bottom Line is that I’m debating putting Lights and Shadows on hold despite the fact that it’s farther along than anything else I have going right now in favor of getting back to Parallax’s sequels or simply cutting down my book plan to one book for the entire year and seeing what happens. Nothing is etched in stone yet so I’m weighing my options while I still have a full head of hair.

In the meantime, all my books are available in Kindle and Paperback Formats on Amazon.com and Createspace.

Not Sure, But I May be Getting Tired of Sci-Fi

Don’t get me wrong because I love Science Fiction and especially love writing it. But lately, I’ve been thinking more and more about the days when I didn’t think about genres and wrote whatever turned me on. When I was but a wee lad of Ten Years, I had a fascination for US Navy submarines and their wartime exploits during World War II. I was so fascinated by it that I used to write my own fictional war logs for fun. I guess it stuck with me because years later, I joined the Navy. Didn’t make it through Submarine Training, but I did serve some time on a Knox Class Frigate that was definitely a learning experience for me.

My admissions here will have no bearing on the future of Lights and Shadows and The Parallax Trilogy. They will be finished by the end of December 2016 as I planned. I simply feel the need to write other stuff, stuff that doesn’t involve spaceships and aliens.

May Ambitions: Old Storylines

Now that May is upon me, I feel the need to wrap up some old storylines that have been floating around the blog for a while. Most of them were one-offs to experiment with certain story segments that I wanted to practice. Some, however, were intended to go somewhere but for one reason or another didn’t. I’ve gone back and selected three that I will be finishing this month in between Lights and Shadows and the Parallax Sequels:

1) Academy Days: This is the prequel series featuring a younger John Pratt during his time with the United Earth Union Navy Academy. It seemed a shame to only write three episodes so there’s more to come.

2) Dark Ocean: Originally, this was a bit that I did as a free writing exercise that I did in my “Story Time” post and I left it hanging. I don’t like hanging scenes.

3) Leviathan Sleeps: I’ll probably change a bunch of things in it to reflect The Stardivers Storyline that I was fleshing out in my Idea Folder. I might even change the title, but I haven’t decided yet.

The original posts are still archived, but leaving those particular characters in Limbo never sat well with me so it’s off to the races.