Serialised Fiction – Part Six
So, I’m finally nearing the end of this journey, and part of me is glad. Relieved even. The finish line is in sight and once I get across it I can relax.
Or can I?
There is a certain respect in which a writing project is never truly finished. Barring getting published, which is a definite end, though part of me suspects that even if that were the case with me, I’d still do another redraft. Because there is always room for improvement, isn’t there? I’m not quite at that stage yet, where I can let a project go and see how it functions in the world, but I can feel myself getting close.
It may be a little pre-emptive, but I thought I’d explore it in this entry.
Finishing the Marathon
Aside from being a relief, it’s also a little exciting. Knowing that a project is going to be finished, and that it’s going to be in the public domain, and the sense of achievement that comes along with that - It’s a thrill! It is however, just the first marathon of many. Anyone who is serious about getting published needs to have an ongoing plan. To thrash the writing/exercise metaphor again, you’ve completed your first marathon, but there are still so many to get through. You can’t completely stop working out in between.
You still need more ideas, other stories to build, blank slates to fill. Most probably, you may have to develop more ideas with the characters you’ve created, write a follow up book or series. After all, if your readers are familiar with the characters you’ve already created, they wont need to invest as much effort getting to know a huge new bunch of characters. This works both ways, too. If you, as a writer, have invested so much time in creating these characters and the world they live in, then you may feel reluctant to abandon them to it after just one project.
Just Plain Lazy?
When I first started writing seriously, I was opposed to the idea of writing sequels for the sake of it. I’ll be honest, I was naïve enough to think that it was lazy. An easy get out. This was of course before I pumped so much of my time, effort and energy into writing a full novel. Once I’d written it, and done endless redrafts, my thinking was radically altered. I kind of understood that it wasn’t laziness at all. When you create a group of characters, and see how well they work, then you come to understand that they have far more potential than one book or series or whatever can give them.
I know this isn’t always the case. Some characters work really well for just one book, and that’s fine, but sometimes they can surprise you, and give you a lot more longevity. This is what I discovered from the book I wrote. The characters had other stories to tell. It’s also the case of this series that I’ve written. While it has at times been trying, and the thought of writing a second series fills me with a cold dread, there is a longer story here. I know (roughly) how it ends, and depending on how well I can generate further ideas, there is a second, possibly even a third series in it. But how do you prepare yourself for this? Personally, I’m going to take a break. Not from writing altogether, just from this project. It’s been tough, because it’s kinda heavy, complex, and has a lot of science behind it. My next project is going to be light, easy going, not as rigid and serious.
Hopefully, my next entry will be the one where I can claim to have finished (aside from the final edit), and I’ll be able to give a better account of how it feels, to me.