I'm at the end of week 1 of the current 8-week sprint and things are going pretty good. There's been a slight change of plans as a single project has expanded into three. But that's OK.
Everyone in the Constance books has to have a believable journey that explains their behaviour. When a character does something you, as a reader, should be able to accept it without any friction, especially when there's a change to how they behave.
Working on the outlines across all three books in the series highlighted where I haven't done that. The bad news (for me) is I've added a lot of extra work to the books. The good news is revising the outline like this is already making the story a richer, more well-rounded experience.
I struggle to go in cold to an editing/rewriting session. It's the most difficult part of the process for me, so naturally I come up with excuses to avoid it. A simple fix was to sit down and free write in a notebook for half an hour or so as a warm-up exercise. Those warm-ups lead to forty or so pages about a new series separate from Constance and the Sum of All Things.
This week I experimented with spending a couple of hours in the morning planning This Cursed World the first book in this new post-apocalyptic series.
Secret Cold wars eviscerated the human race, forcing grief-stricken Sam Jones to seek a cure for a man-made plague of rage fuelled cannibals. The infected Major Charles Avaline herds survivors into a human farm to feed his hunger and his deadly new super-powers.
If the experiment plays out it'll establish a healthy routine of working on first drafts of one book in the early morning, shifting into rewrites of another book for a few hours after that, and finish off the day with marketing.
As I don't have any books to promote right now I have capacity to work on a non-fiction project. I keep non-fiction work away from these updates because that's not what you're here for, but it's worth mentioning the two reasons WHY I have a non-fiction projects.
The first reason is I enjoy making online courses. The early part of the process isn't too dissimilar to planning and writing a novel. When I have a first draft of a novel I'll format and publish it. When I’ve written the content for a course, I create the accompanying materials (slides, diagrams, quizzes, etc), record the lessons and publish. It's a way to mix writing with my enjoyment of technology.
The second reason is I'm more comfortable having more than one source of income. There's a potential for a whole other series of posts about incomes for creatives, freelancers and small business owners (most authors are all three). The straightforward explanation is creating and selling online courses smooth out the peaks and troughs of book sales.