Letting Ideas Take Over

I’ve been working on my first novel for about six months now. Productivity comes in spurts, but I’m happy to say that I have 14 chapters, a prologue, and two partial chapters in my first draft with a metric shit ton of story left to get down. 

I’m running into a few issues-some good, some not so good-that I thought I’d share with y’all. (Yes, I say y’all.)

  1. My time to write lately hasn’t been the most productive. I’m usually the type that needs to be at the local coffee shop or book store surrounded by pedestrians (a word I’m single handedly trying to turn derogatory) to observe while sipping my vanilla chai latte with no water for my hourly fix.  (Yes I said hourly. Yes I may have a problem.) This is just the type of environment I thrive in. But my ability to do that while on the rig is nada. Instead I have to write in solitude at the end of my work day like every other aspiring artist. 
  2. I hate outlining to the point I feel that having to outline a book limits its creative flow. Like if I don’t even know what’s about to happen next, then how can the reader? Having an unpredictable book is something I love. But I’m starting to get to the point where I’m running into plot holes, and having to go back and fix them. So I’ve decided on the following solution: Write the entire first draft. Then outline the written first draft, and then find and fix any plot holes in editing. I’ll let y’all know how it goes. 
  3. My head has been so full of ideas lately. Normally, this is something I would relish in. No. Not the stuff on hotdogs. That’s gross, by the way. You should seek a doctor if you like that stuff. <shakes head in disgust> But now it’s to so many ideas that I’ve been forced to idea dump in my notepad in hopes to save it for later and still make progress on my main WIP. So far my works in progress are: 
  • My main WIP, a space opera about a guy cursed with an addictive weapon that threatens to kill him the more he uses it, and his struggle to find and kill the man responsible for him having it, his own father. Along the way, he encounter others, and their paths become intertwined. 
  • A spin off-sort of-prequel I’ve been writing about one of my main WIP antagonists and his rise to power.

And in idea/draft mode I have:

  • A novel series about a minor (but important) character in the main WIP that is a time/space jumper. This series would focus on his adventures and struggles as he tries to get back to his own space-time without changing the future. 
  •  And an oral history novel or series report of the events that would focus on the events of the main WIP from the stand point of an investigative journalist. Like Max Brooks’s World War Z meets my untitled space opera novel. But I might also use this idea to branch into other media forms like fictional podcasts like Halo’s Hunt the Truth podcast.  I think that would be awesome, but also harder to do and would rely on the success of the first book. However, giving my characters voice would truly be rewarding. 

Here’s to hoping that my grand vision of a shared universe for all of these works grows into an amazing franchise across many mediums, but for now… It’s back to writing. 

If you have any comments or questions about my writing style or works in progress, you can comment below or find me at @glbusenlehner on Twitter. Thanks guys!