Thursday, 20 November 2014

Maverick to Mage - The Pain of Sequels

Hi Guys,

New topic this time, and the title says it all. Yes Maverick, three years after I published and put it away, is getting a sequel - Mage.
It's a long way from anywhere at the moment, with maybe 40k written. And as yet I don't know where it will end up. I've only got to the beginning which is set up five years after the events in Maverick ended. But I am excited about it. So excited that as you can see I've done a rough draft of a cover for it.
I'm also pulling my hair out over it! 2015 may be the year I finally go bald!
2014 has been a funny year so far. As those who read my posts or my books will know, I don't write series. I generally write stories with a simple beginning and an end. It's not for ideological reasons or because I have any particular objection to series. (Actually I'd quite like to write a series since they sell better!) It's simply the way my somewhat fossilized brain works. But this year I've started three follow up books. The first is to Doorways, a book which at this stage has only the working title - Doorways II. (Original I know!) Then a month or so ago I completed The Godlost Land, and immediately found myself starting its sequel - Pluto Rising. And now Mage has finally started to be written.
Where it will go I don't know. I never do. Nor do I have any idea how long it will take to write. As you may have gathered by now - I can never write just one book at a time.
Sadly this is the curse of being a pantster - a writer who writes by the seat of his pants rather than planning and plotting. I probably have more unfinished novels on my computer than any other writer in creation. And though it hurts to admit it, some of them are very close to completion. The Arcanist for example - my first venture into steampunk has forty something chapters written and only needs another five or six - essentially the end of the book. But unfortunately each time I return to it - and it is years old - I keep writing, rewriting, refining and revising those first forty some chapters and then can't work out how the book ends.
With Mage however, I have a different problem. I know the direction of the story. But the details elude me. It is one giant continuity puzzle. Last night for example I spent half an hour rereading Maverick, skimming through endless references to one character, just to find out what her hair colour is. Then I had to run through my old notes looking for distances in leagues between destinations. Let this be a warning to others - never simply start writing a sequel three years after finishing the first book! (If only I could listen to my own advice!)
But at least to all those who have sent me emails about when sequels will be written to various of my books, I can honestly say now that some are on the drawing board. And I'm hopeful that some will be finished next year.
Cheers, Greg,

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