I can’t multi-task fictional worlds

I’ve reached that time of year when every other conversation starts with “can you believe it’s halfway through November already?” Time is uncontrollable, don’t worry about it.

After a couple of months of trying I’ve learned I can’t hold two fiction projects in my head at the same time. I’ve shelved the ‘Post-Apocalyptic Super-Cannibals’ series until I’ve finished the in-flight projects. I tried, it didn’t work out. Now it’s fiction in the mornings and non-fiction/marketing in the afternoons. The Super-Cannibals series will get written. There’s an Arthurian theme that fits within it all especially with one of the characters in the role of Merlin/Mentor/Betrayer that should deliver a very satisfying gut punch when it’s revealed.*

The Sum of All Things (Fiction)

I’ve pushed back the publication of Constance and the Sum of All Things to 27th Dec 21. Truth is I’ve been arsing about trying to be ‘man who can do everything’ only to discover that I don’t have the skillset to effortless switch from one project to another. I’m more of a break for lunch, have a nap, stretch and start over kind of writer.

This week I didn’t finish plotting out the five act structure for the entire trilogy because of the conflict with the other fiction project. Both series bled into each other and the identity of each work suffered as a result. 

With only one fictional universe to worry about I’ll spend next week mapping out the entire series before writing a detailed synopsis for Book 1 to check for flow and flaws. Even thinking about it now I can see the first draft doesn’t give all the characters the space they need to grow.

Project Kratos (Non-Fiction)

This week I finished the first draft of an online course also due for publishing on 27th Dec 21. The coincidence in the dates is down to the 8 week sprint structure I use for projects. 

Creating online courses are a new thing for me as I move away from the freelance marketing work of the last 10 years. Project Kratos is the first in an experiment of creating courses that solve specific marketing problems for niche groups. The (my) theory is that while marketing strategy remains the same the tools and tactics change from niche to niche. A sales funnel for authors, for example, looks and acts very differently from a sales funnel for a local cafe. Time, and my bank account, will tell if my idea for shorter, niche specific, courses is a good one.

Reading

A surprise book this week was Micheal Palin’s North Korea Journal

In May 2018, former Monty Python stalwart and intrepid globetrotter Michael Palin spent two weeks in the notoriously secretive Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, a cut-off land without internet or phone signal, where the countryside has barely moved beyond a centuries-old peasant economy but where the cities have gleaming skyscrapers and luxurious underground train stations.

Now he shares his day-by-day diary of his visit, in which he describes not only what he saw – and his fleeting views of what the authorities didn’t want him to see – but recounts the conversations he had with the country’s inhabitants, talks candidly about his encounters with officialdom, and records his musings about a land wholly unlike any other he has ever visited – one that inspires fascination and fear in equal measure.

It’s a short book, non-judgmental on the inhabitants but wry commentary on the system that surrounds them including this passage on boarding an internal flight to Pyongyang

There’s a long security hold up, as we have to pass everything through a metal detector. It’s only after a while that I notice it’s not plugged in.

Only £0.99 on Amazon at time of writing.

Next Week

Writing novels in the morning and creating courses in the afternoon while avoiding distractions. One of the best tools I have to keep me focused is keeping a big pad of sticky notes beside me . Anytime an AMAZING URGENT MUST DO idea jumps in to take me away from what I’m doing I capture it on a sticky note. All the stickies go into a bowl for me to look at the end of the week.


Copyright © Stephen Gordon 2021