So where to from here?
In the days following the final edits on Origins, I sat down with myself and asked a few critical questions. I wanted to ascertain how I felt about writing it, and then if it was something that I wanted to keep doing.
I felt like many other writers do about their own novels. At first I felt like I could have done a much better job, and then after further reflection I remembered – analysis can equal paralysis – if you allow it. The truth is I could have gone back and rewritten, added to, changed, chopped, or modified several parts of the book. I decided against it, because I felt if I went back again, I’d keep going back and never get it out to production.
This has its own drawbacks of course. There are people that will read Origins and comment its not what it could have been, and I fully agree, they are allowed to have that opinion. No manuscript is ever perfect, and attempts to make it so will only frustrate the writer who goes back and makes those changes. Origins went through several changes from the start of the project to the final form it has now. The original outline changed more than once, as I got a better feel for the story as a whole. The most important goal I met was a completed piece I was happy with, nothing else matters.
After I realized I was finished with Origins, the next question was – what now? I knew I wanted to keep writing, so I decided that I’d change gears and work on a near future Sci-fi piece I’d been inspired to put together. Fictional history runs close to alternative future stories for me, as they have the same general “What if?” feel to them. I started constructing the world as I saw it decades in the future and developed the political and social structures the story would have as a backdrop. I took a few days to draw some story elements together, but nothing seemed to stick, so I put it on a shelf and decided that I’d come back to it later.
A few weeks later I began outlining the sequel to Origins and finished it the days after the release. My perspective on novel writing has changed since I started. I know more about what it takes to bring one to life, but that’s not to say I know it all, or even enough. Writing the sequel will give me a chance to expound on the world I’ve started to create and bring readers along for another wild journey.
No writer can promise a perfect story – nor should they. All they can hope to provide is a story that makes a reader forget the car troubles, stress, and bills they have for a few hours – an escape from the day.
The current piece is going well and I hope to have updates for you in the near future. I’ll be writing a few other short stories, which I hope will show up in some anthologies you can pick up.
Where to now? Only time will tell.