Though it was only Tuesday this week that I sent off The King’s Horse (launching in June) to my editor, the gladiatorial combat for what story will be written next has been going on in my mind. Two of the several lessons learned from 2017 (and I just realized I never wrote the post about those lessons learned, too late in 2018 to do that now!) were:
- Write where the Muse is strongest
- Don’t be without a story. That means keep writing, and if I’m not writing, then I’m puzzling over scenes for the days that I’m having to not write.
The stories I was debating writing next were:
- Tilruna – Fantasy/Space Opera – Book 1 of what would be a trilogy, where Fall of House Andes will be the middle book. This is intended to be submitted to an agent. I’m itching to get back to this, having written 45k last year and was very close to releasing it, before some great feedback made me see it could be a trilogy, and go from good to great.
- Wizard Killer – Season 4 – Post-apocalyptic, dark fantasy serial – I just released Season 3 at the end of March, and have the audiobook coming out in the next 2 weeks. I’m pretty certain that this will end with Season 5, but the astute will notice I use the branding Mondus Inferno, which is a clue that there are going to be other books in this world. Upon reflection, I’m pretty certain that despite wanting to write more than 1 Season a year, I don’t seem to have it in me.
- Odis Prime – Season 1 – LitRPG, GamerLit Fantasy – This is a series that has been eating away at my brain for nearly a year, and almost knocked everything off the writing table and demanded to be written. One thing I won’t do to my fans is have too many worlds/series all going on at the same time, which means that emotionally I don’t think I could do this until Season 4 or 5 of Wizard Killer was out.
- The King’s Horse #2 – Steampunk/Fairytale – Writing this now would have the world and characters crisp and clear in my mind, but usually I need a break after such immersion. After 4 Yellow Hood novels in a row, I wrote Man of Cloud 9 and The Wizard Killer – Season 1, before returning for a strong finish to that series with The Day the Sky Fell (The Yellow Hoods #5) On the plus side, I already have a lot of material in mind for this.
- Time to Share – Contemporary Short Story – This story was inspired by our family trip to Mexico. I have a very vivid character, setting, and story arch for it. Most likely it would come in around 5-6k, but as my wife says, if I’m not careful, that’ll be 25k and if I’ve had too much to drink, it’ll become a series of novels.
The battle has been going on and on, wherever I go. I’ve been putting on different music, waiting for that moment to grab me that makes it decisive, and then this afternoon, it happened. The same way that The King’s Horse – Book 1’s story grabbed me, with a specific set of moments that were so vivid, so real, that I felt like I’d just stepped into that world, one of the five contenders did that.
I thought it was going to be Tilruna, and I can say most definitely it was the last to fall before this story claimed dominion over my writing soul and the Muse shown the golden light of inspiration upon it. Time to Share was not mortally wounded, but allowed to live in the in-between moments, when I’m writing as I wait to pick up my kids or when I’ve not puzzled out a scene from the book I’m writing. This will ensure it says short.
And the story that won out, in a moment somewhere along Calgary’s Crowfoot Trail, was The King’s Horse – Book 2. There were two moments that came to life, together, as the first two chapters with such a beautiful diametric oppositeness to them in emotion, but both with great emotional intensity, that I just couldn’t deny them.
The real test was when I got home, and all manner of Dad! Daddy! Want! Need! DADDY! was unleashed, I took care of everything and found myself in front of Scrivener, jotting down scenes and beats.
One does not question the Muse, one can simple marvel at the intensity with which the bolt of inspiration causes us to leap and reach for the pen!