There has been a change of plan. Now, those of you who have followed this blog - and know how fickle I can be on occasion - will probably have come to the conclusion that I am abandoning my fantasy ideas and instead will be writing a time-travelling steampunk adventure novel instead. (Actually, that does sound kinda cool. I need to focus.) That’s not what I’m going to say, in fact, I’m taking steps to ensure that I don’t. My idea had been to start writing Alamo 13...tomorrow, in fact, and build myself a longer margin for the fantasy books, but I’m scrapping that idea. Instead, I’m going to have a week of preparation time, starting tomorrow (for I have Alamo 12 material to worry about today, revisions and edits) and will be starting work on the first in the fantasy series in one week’s time.
No two writers are alike. I can’t stress this enough. That is why - in my opinion - good books about the craft of writing are so damn thin on the ground, because most of them don’t acknowledge this. I firmly believe that writing is not really something that can be taught; it has to be experienced. Once you have mastered English - start to write. If you want to do it, you’ll persist with it, and if you keep working, you will improve. It’s a skill like any other, and must be honed and developed. Read. Read lots, and don’t worry about ‘lists of old greats’ - read what interests you, because that’s what you will be writing - but don’t confine yourself to a genre either. Even bad books will be informative - in fact, looking at ‘what they did wrong’ can often be more help than ‘wow, this is fantastic’. Though the best books - the best of all - will make you want to write yourself.
When I’m working on a new project - less so with Alamo, a blessing of writing a long-running series, and one that I hope to continue with - I have a tendency to second-guess myself. I suspect there is nothing particularly unusual about that, but I don’t want it to happen this time. If I do Alamo 13 first, then it’ll be more than a month before I begin the new project. Lots of time for me to talk myself out of something that promises to be a lot of fun. On the other hand, I don’t need to start the next Alamo book until mid-June, technically, to maintain a decent head-start, so I have got a free month to work with. Enough time to get this first book written, certainly, even with preparation time.
So that’s the new plan. A slightly modified version of the old plan, but there you go. I’ve committed myself to a lot of reading and note-taking over the course of the next week, but that’ll be fun in its own right, so I don’t have any objections to that. Indeed, I’ll be going over these things for the blog. Also - this doesn’t change the projected release date of the first fantasy book. I still want to release the first two a month apart, which means launch times in July and August. Having a little more time to go over the draft of the book will be no bad thing, I suspect. Well, I guess I’d better get to work...