Next week I publish a book and it’s been a learning experience.
The whole thing has changed my perspective on what I write and how I write. I used to think I could only write in one genre, this book and another I wrote in April made me rethink what I write.
The book next week is a collection of horror stories, while the book in January is a political thriller.
I denied myself writing a thriller book for years because I felt I shouldn’t write it.
I considered myself a horror writer because I love horror. My favorite books and movies have always been horror. Narrowing myself to only horror limited what I wrote. I didn’t intend for it to do that but it did.
I still love horror but for some reason I’m having a hell of a time writing long form. Short stories happen easily, but long form are a pain in the ass.
I wish I knew why I have this issue.
I loved writing the stories in the collection which comes out next week, they’re all horror of some sort or another.
You can find it on Amazon for Kindle or Barnes & Noble for Nook.
I don’t understand why I have this issue, but I do. I hope you’ll get the book. I enjoyed writing every line of those horror stories.
I took a break from this blog for a while to work on things.
If you follow me on social media, you saw my post. I have been working on this collection for most of the summer and another project that fell apart.
The latter of these things made me realize a few things about myself and my writing. I am really good at writing short horror stories. But when it comes to a longer form of horror, I have trouble. let me explain.
From April 4th to May 4th I wrote the first draft of a 100,000 word novel.
This novel is different from anything I’d written prior, and it is the only novel I’ve followed a beat sheet and outline to the letter.
It is a very strong first draft. Possibly the best first draft of a novel I’ve ever written. I owe that to the set up with the outline and beat sheet.
The book will be coming out in January and it is not horror.
When I was a teenager I read the military and political thrillers that were popular in the late 80’s and 90’s by authors like Tom Clancy.
At the time I wasn’t allowed to read any other books, or at least that’s how it felt. Any time I asked to read something other than those books, my father rebuffed me and it was only in my room where I could read the books I wanted to read; horror, comics, fantasy, and science fiction being my favorites.
When I began to write my own stories I swore I’d never create worlds like Clancy’s. This came about because of the way I feel towards me father(he and I don’t have a relationship).
With the books I felt I had to read it was about control and I have an issue with being controlled, as we all should.
I believe that by allowing the way I was treated to enter into my head, it stopped me from following a path that maybe I should have followed.
The first idea I had for a novel was along the lines of the military/political thriller, but I closed myself off to that because of the trauma I experienced growing up. In other words, I allowed it to stop my creativity because I worried old feelings would come back.
Now it comes back around to the novel I’ll be self-publishing in January. There are other novels I’m currently writing or ideas I’m pondering contained within the same world.
It is a change that maybe I needed to do. I believe by allowing myself to be stopped creatively because of past trauma, I rejected stories which I would have enjoyed as well as ones that would push me.
Today, I’m moving forward with these books because I really enjoy writing them more than anything else. I consider myself a writer who does not limit themselves to one genre. I will write in whichever genre a story comes to me, I only wish I knew why I had such a difficult time with creating outlines for horror novels.
Maybe this is just a learning experience and I need to figure it out at another time, but for now I’ll write these political/military thrillers because they give me a joy that I’ve rarely found in writing.
Here is the link for the short story collection. I hope you enjoy the stories. There are some dark ones in there and I enjoyed writing each of them.
I’ve worked on a new project for most of the last month of all this crazy new reality.
It started with wondering whether I should write the current project, something I discussed in another post.
I also talked about dropping this project because it was different and wasn’t the horror stories I believed I should be writing.
But cooler heads prevailed and I’m at almost 30k on this project.
It’s the first time I’ve used an outline this thoroughly.
I worked for three weeks on this outline and now that I’ve got a handle on how it’s supposed to work I’m enjoying it.
There are minor points I’ve set within the outline that I must reach and they’ve allowed me to write to the story I want as long as I hit those points the story works.
That I’ve written ten novels and never approached my writing this way says a lot about where I’ve been and even more about how my mental attitude has changed towards an outline.
I’ve tried this approach numerous times but now after having a MasterClass account and listening to David Baldacci, Dan Brown, Robert Patterson, I’m more comfortable within this construct than I’ve ever been.
My wife got me a subscription to MasterClass for my birthday and I’ve watched all of the ones I’ve listed above.
The Baldacci one is my favorite.
I’m able to get 2300 words or more every day, sometimes reaching into the 3k range.
But having the comfort of this new way to work makes me more confident in my writing abilities.
I miss writing on this blog three days a week but have been focusing on reading and writing so much that the blog hasn’t been part of that focus.
I’m not going make a promise I can’t keep and tell you I’ll write more posts, but I will keep you updated on how the writing is going as much as possible.
I have a deadline set for the end of June for the first draft and will probably finish sooner.
As to the rest of my life.
Kids are doing school from home. I’m unable to bartend for obvious COVID-19 restrictions. My wife has worked from home for the last 9+ years and is busy.
I work, play video games, keep the house, and yard clean.
I miss bartending. I’m an introvert, except when I’m pouring drinks.
The last five months of 2019 I didn’t write as much or read as much as I should’ve.
My focus left me because of a game.
I don’t know why I let it control those last few months, but I did.
It took control of who I wanted to be. What I wanted to accomplish and I became detached from all of those things.
I realized that I had to do better for myself.
Besides my wife and kids, my writing is the most important thing in my life.
It’s changed how I deal with society. It’s caused me to reevaluate my depression. I no longer look at it with a singular moniker of, “depression.”
There are many subtle levels of depression and they take over parts of my writing and how I deal with the day-to-day machinations of it.
In the end we are at the mercy of what we focus on though I finished a novel during those five months–I’ve determined that it’s quite good–I also learned a lot about myself and why the littlest distractions can detour my writing as well as the balance within my brain.
I’m determined to get something out that can be read by everyone as well as to continue posting on here.
I still have queries out with three agents and when I hear something, good or not, I’ll let you know.