Greetings one and all!
Just thought I'd devote today's blog post to giving some insight into how I've gone about doing, or sort-of doing, shall we say, the less flashy side of writing: planning.
Now, as far as I'm concerned, there's no one right way to do this, though actually doing the planning itself in the first place is probably a bit of a must. That being said, the 'planning' that occurred for both of the Phoenix Saga books was rather haphazard, to say the least.
If you're like me and struggle to note things down in a chronological fashion, then scribbling random scenes hastily in a notepad on the train to work is the one for you! My brain can be weird like that.
Ahhh, but I seem some of the more meticulous fiends amongst your ranks, who scoff at my feeble attempts. Perhaps I may yet sway you. Recently, for one of my prospective books, I've attempted *drumroll please* more traditional planning. That is to say, I've just grabbed a handful of little flashcards and planned each scene, as concisely as possible, one after the other. Its been a refreshing experience.
I've actually planned an entire book that way. I know! I hardly believe it either. But for which book you ask? Well, now that's a secret I'll have to keep to myself for now. Though, I can reveal that I'm almost a hundred pages into it, so I'm making steady progress!
Though I wouldn't say that it was absolutely necessary, personally, I find map-drawing quite helpful in terms of picturing how the story will go from A to B. I think that there's an actual technique that relates to this in terms of story-writing, though its name is currently eluding me. I know it has something to do with forests and drawing lines...
If it twigs with anyone, be sure to let me know in the comments!
This may come as a surprise for you all to know that I have a three-year plan to dominate the known fantasy world (have at that Brandon Sanderson, where's your three-year plan you multi-million book selling, giant of epic fantasy?) Literally, I have it pinned up - stuck, more like, with blue-tack - on one of the doors of my wardrobe, leering down upon me as I sleep.
It may come as less of a surprise that I'm rather behind schedule! Rather naively on my part, I set myself the target of finishing the third book of the Phoenix Saga come the end of this year. It's probably not going to happen, but God loves a trier.
As it stands I'm currently delving into three projects, (of which Phoenix Saga #3 is a part), because why not? I might start keeping regular updates on the writing in the sidebar to keep you all informed. I'll have a think about it. That's not to say that it won't be possible for me to get at least a first draft finished before Christmas, though I can't promise it will be the third book! In a bid to increase my output however, I'm hoping to produce around two books coming into the following year. So that's something, right?
So, my plan to make this blog a weekly thing has kinda already been thrown out of the window, not even three entries in!
I tried people, I tried.
So, as I was reading the other day, I had a thought. Now, in a lot of books, we all know that there are certain tropes that tend to crop up with alarming regularity. Perhaps the most prominent example I can think of would be the 'Chosen One'.
Ahhh the Chosen One. A popular trope that has cleaved its way through literature from the dawn of time to Harry Potter. Though the trope has had a considerable measure of success, as one can observe through a variety of media, it has become a victim of its own popularity, parodied to no end.
"Oh Valhadan, you have been chosen to defeat the darkness. Years of struggle and strife you shall have, loved ones you shall lose, and even then... you may die... or worse, be lumped with a horde of ungrateful bastards who have the audacity to only nod their thanks after you defeated the greatest evil their world had ever seen *cough cough* post-Voldemort death scene of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt.2 *cough cough*
Yeahhhh, hard pass on that opportunity of a lifetime I think!
Of course, though such tropes may have taken a vacation from more modern fantasy tellings, they are arguably still popular. Which ultimately gives rise to a question I've been hoping to ask you all: would you prefer a book rife with tropes? One that denies the majority of them? Or one that toes the line between familiarity and defiance?
Let me know what you think in the comments below!
Somehow it has been over two weeks since Nathaniel Grey was released into the wild, for all your unsuspecting eyes to behold.
I must say that I'm humbled by the feedback so far, it's a wonderfully weird feeling that people are enjoying something I just dropped out there in the world, so haphazardly, (so far... until they reach the end of the book *cue hysterical cackling*). Hopefully, I may even have some reviews to share with you all once my lovely early readers have finished their copies!
For those who have just come onto the website by sheer chance and are probably wondering who the hell Nathaniel Grey is and how they've found themselves on this website instead, welcome. Perhaps these words might even convince you stay for the next batch of my strange natterings. And if you're feeling EXTRA curious, perhaps you might even happen to accidentally wander over to the books page above and check out what I've been up to the last couple of years. It's only my life's work... no sweat ;)
Anyways, I guess I should update you guys on the latest happenings, you know, like a professional author, (or semi, in my case), or something. Work on book numero 3 of the Phoenix Saga has already begun, although, I must admit that I have been rather distracted by my other series project (sign up to the mailing list if you fancy a sneak peek into that!) I'm going to try to juggle the two for the moment, amidst all the shameless self-promotion, but I'd love to know what you guys think in the comments!