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Writing In the Backwaters

I recently found a notebook with hand written notes on my last three novels inside. I used to carry it around with me just to keep the ideas on paper and not in my head. I no longer carry it around with me but I do tend to stuff ideas in digital notebooks like Evernote. The things I had written about for finished novels were not very interesting. But the notes I had for the second Joshua Jones book are valuable to me. I re-read them and realized just how detailed they were. So now I’m tempted to transfer them into a Plume Creator project so I can begin plotting the novel someday. I would like to finish the third book in the Star Saga next year, but after that, I’ll probably take a break from SF and write that second Mystery novel.

My current novel, The Rising, is still moving along, but at a slower speed than I’d like. Part of that reduced production was based on plotting issues. The novel has been re-plotted several times now and it has been very hard to focus on it during that time. I never had this much structure related issues with a novel before. But then again, I’ve never written anything like this one before either. This book is not very Space Opera-ish. I’m focusing in internal strife and the drama is more character based and less action oriented. This doesn’t mean it will be any less exciting to read, just that I have to really know my characters and motivations. More words are spent building relationships and weaving related plot points than describing battles. But fear not, my loyal readers (both of you), I will return again to action in book three.

There are other projects I’d like to work on and eventually I will get around to them. There are more Mystery novels in my head and another SF novel that is not related to the Star Saga. Not to mention a whole anthology of short stories I’d like to write and possibly a few novellas set in the Star Saga. There is no end in sight for the amount of writing I’d like to accomplish before I retire. This week I turn 49 years old and for the first time I can start to see the finish line when it comes to retirement. Will I be able to complete the Star Saga before I retire? Will I have the time to finish the projects I’ve just mentioned? Impossible to tell. It’s not like I will stop writing fiction after I retire. In fact I anticipate my output increasing with more hours devoted to it during the day. But hopefully by then, I’ll have moved on to different things. That’s what’s so cool about being a writer. You really don’t have to be tied down to one genre your whole life.

I find it fascinating how my Amazon sales have faded away to nothing in this last month. Clearly I’m not putting enough effort into publicizing. Actually, I’ve put absolutely no effort into it. Sometimes, I remember to tweet about a book or mention something about a book being available in paperback. But that never leads to anyone buying my books. Nobody really knows who I am or what I write. There is great freedom in this obscurity and I hope it continues long enough to finish out my Star Saga. I can’t imagine trying to raise a family, work a day job and write to a deadline to satisfy ravenous fans. I much prefer to write in the backwaters and slip out a new novel every year or so to little or no fanfare. It lets me write the stories I want to read, and it gives me the time to write them well.

Speaking of time, I guess that’s enough time wasted navel gazing. I better get back to my novel.

Congrats to all those happy Hugo winners out there!


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