Posted Wed, 05/25/11
Long before I finished writing the Collective Obsessions Saga in mid-March (re: Collective Sigh), new projects brewed in my imagination. I was fully consumed by the saga throughout the winter months, granted, but afterward very anxious to begin writing new stories and/or working on existing projects that had been set aside for awhile.
I've had hundreds of story ideas over the years, but only a select handful actually make it to the outline stage. At the moment, my future projects include four books. All of them have detailed outlines at this point, some with several chapters already written.
Meticulous organization happens to be one of my personality quirks. I often think it borders on the compulsive level, which most likely annoys people around me. When organizing projects, my initial plan is to work on them in a certain order. Maybe because the storyline drives me forward, or specific characters inspire me to delve deeper. Who knows? However, despite my best intentions, plans typically change course. Perhaps the habit is an indication of obsessive-compulsive-organized-chaos disorder?
Whatever the case, my plan was to complete Toss the Feathers before summer was over. Instead, I've been drawn to write Glinhaven. Originally titled Lady Alexandra of Glin, Glinhaven is a departure from my other work as it borders on mystery-suspense. I've spent recent weeks fleshing out the characters, settings and storyline points in a multi-paged outline. I tried to force myself to do other things, but found my attention returning to Glinhaven. Definitely more than just an idea, the book is taking vivid shape in my mind and on paper. It's a stimulating element of the writing process for me, which somehow seems to become even better as a story progresses.
Other projects are not been forgotten, but remain on temporary hiatus. The new plan is to finish Glinhaven before summer's end, to be followed by Toss the Feathers and Beyond Reach next year.
In the Shadow of the King requires a great deal of research and copious amounts of time, which is why it always comes last. I'm keen to maintain historical accuracy in the story, so it's a matter of constant reference and fact-checking. In other words, full concentration. I've been working on the book for several years, and it will probably take several more before it's finally complete. It might seem like the book will never come to pass, but I have every confidence it will. As recently as last year, I never thought I'd finish such a large project like Collective Obsessions, but I did it. There are no doubts in my mind that In the Shadow of the King will tread the same path eventually.