I hadn't really thought about writing lately. But I guess it's when your mind is occupied by other things that these ideas pop in, uninvited but welcome. Thusly, something popped in my head at the beginning of the week that flung me into a brainstorm.
One of the biggest things that bugged me about the Twilight series (yes, this again) is that in the end, after what was supposed to be a series of epic struggles, they sustained no loss of life. ( SPOILERS )
I want to avoid that. I wanted a bittersweet ending that looks to the future with hope and to the past with grief. I think those are much more realistic and I actually feel more fulfilled by them. It better matches the gravity of the rest of the story, I think.
So, in an effort to be the anti-Twilight, I looked critically at what I've got going on so far. I haven't even gotten into outlining the third book, really, because it's mostly strategizing, battle, battle, battle, end. Notes to describe that are short right now and I don't really see a need to elaborate yet. I did have a vague notion that a certain couple would get together and kind of live happily ever after. But then I realized that I was falling into exactly what I detest.
So, I looked at all my main characters and thought, "who can I kill?" The answer was obvious, but I didn't want to admit it at first. I like this guy a lot. He's funny, he's edgy, at times he's even abrasive. But he's also someone you can really count on to have your back and he's a pretty ruthless warrior in an all sorts of awesome kind of way (as opposed to Aedan who is more strategical in the way he fights, this guy just tears through people). But, he's got to die. There's nothing for it. I mulled it over for two days before I opened my outline to add in the note.( My thought process on why I chose him, includes vague SPOILERS. )
But anyway, that's not what I've been writing about for the past two days. Something about deciding to kill off one character created another one. This character creates a segue to the third book and a whole new landscape of characters to introduce there. In fact, I'm pretty sure what I very quickly put down in the past two days equals the second to last chapter in the second book. I've never been this prolific this quickly before (we're talking 2-3 total hours of work here). But there are lots of characters talking in this scene so lots of dialog which eats up lots of words quickly (lots, one more time, lots). There are five heads being put together on what's next after the biggest attack in book two. Three more characters come in at the end of the chapter to see what's going on which gives me a segue to the final chapter (which contains some gushy lovey stuff that I don't feel like writing out right now and also, I need to develop the characters involved a little more or else their dialog won't come naturally). I basically just laid out the plot to the third book, or at least the plot as it's planned right now, from my characters' points of view. Of course, some unforeseen things will come up to make it all exciting (like the aforementioned death and things that I haven't even foreseen yet and I'm god here).
That said, how about some stats:
Outline - 26565 words (1177 written yesterday and 1607 today) and 35 pages.
Draft (unchanged) - 6540 words and 23 pages.
Why am I basically drafting in my outline? Because sometimes, I have no idea where these pieces are going to wind up but I have to get them out when they come. Even if it reads like a draft, it's just easier to organize in an outline format until I get to that point in the draft. I'm beginning to truly believe there's no right and wrong way to go about this (despite the various lists
I've been reading from authors and even readers
of fiction lately). So, I'm not worrying so much about my process anymore. Whatever works, that's what's right and this is definitely working.
I'll probably put it aside now for who knows how long until the next piece grabs me and I just have pick it up again. That's how I roll and the rolling is good.