In spite of all the excitement of “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home” being released this October, I keep hearing people ask “Whatever happened to “The Door”? Are you going to finish that storyline with Alex, Veronica, Julie and Cassandra?” Of course I’m pleased to tell you all the answer is a resounding YES! I am working on it as we speak in fact. In fact I’ve been working on it for quite a while… a really long while… like over two years…. (groan)
“What happened?” I hear you ask. Well it’s quite simple. I’ve spent the last 24 months with a serious case of too many ideas. What does that look like you ask? Here, let me show you.
I keep getting new scenes going that help move the story along but after a while these new ideas wind up derailing the main plot of the story and I have to pull them out again. And when that happens I end up hitting the infamous “Writer’s Block” and find myself unable to move the story forward. This has happened a number of times. Of course, some people will suggest that you have an outline to follow and stick to it. This is a great idea, but unfortunately in my case, a number of my characters wind up with ideas of their own that are often way better than what I had planned in my outline and things end up going in a completely different direction. And quite often those new directions are way better than what I had originally had in mind. So I mainly work with a ‘loose’ outline. There are some scenes and ideas that I have nailed down for sure, and then areas where I’m still finding a direction to head in.
However, in the case of “The Door” I had a number of scenes that were so solid there was nothing that could make me budge from using them… and I wound up hitting wall after wall. I’d go as far as to introduce new characters such as my vampyre Nathan, who makes his debut in “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”, at one point. By adding him I created a bunch of new scenes that really helped the plot along, but also wound up sending the word count skyrocketing. How did this happen? By adding Nathan I had to introduce him to the audience, then the other characters, blah-blah-blah… too many words. But by keeping certain scenes he inspired and giving those scenes to existing characters, I moved the story along much quicker and made those characters more interesting.
Furthermore, when I write a story keeps evolving. I have a good idea where it begins and ends, but the in between stuff gets fuzzy sometimes. As I mentioned earlier, my characters sometimes go off in better directions than what I had planned which leads to other problems. Remember how I mentioned I had certain scenes planned for the story that I was going to use no matter what? Well, some of those became stumbling blocks and it took me the longest time to come to terms with the fact that they no longer fit the story as it was developing and I had to edit them out…
For me this was hard, because I really fell in love with those planned scenes. However, as I’ve told many other writers, those scenes will not go to waste. Instead, I saved them in another file folder on my computer where they will one day see the light of day in another book, where they will fit in just perfectly.
So what shape is “The Door” in now? Much trimmer and faster-paced than in its previous incarnations. The story is tense, exciting, full of mystery, with a growing sense of menace that I hope will keep you all on the edge of your seats to the very end. Certain friends you’ve met before are starting to have an air of menace about them, and will make you wonder if they can still be trusted. While newer characters will keep you guessing about their allegiances until the very end.
At this point the story is sitting at 50,000 words, and will probably wind up at about 110,000 or less by the time I’m finished. Many unanswered questions from the first two books “The Bridge” and “The Ship” will be answered. Furthermore, the fallout from the battle scene with the police at the end of “The Bridge” will be playing a key part in this novel. I hope to have a completed first draft before the end of the year.
Finally, I’m also working on two collaborations as well. One is with my wife Helen who co-authored “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”. The other is “The Pass” with one of my best friends from high school Richard Caminiti. He and I hope to have a completed first draft by the end of this year or early next year.
I’m also hoping to have each of them do some blog entries here so you can find out their thoughts on writing and having to put up with me.
Until next time, take care and keep writing my friends.