Writers all get “The Itch”.
You know what I’m talking about. You’re three-quarters of the way through your novel, and you get a good idea. Sadly, it’s an idea that has nothing to do with your novel.
I’m usually quite good at working these little glimmers of what we’ll call “brilliance” (for lack of a better term) into the body of whatever I’m already working on at the time. It doesn’t always work out, but it’s usually entertaining, if nothing else. This is, honestly, one of the benefits of writing only rough outlines and allowing the bulk of the narrative to be written by the seat of the pants – when crazy ideas come out of left field, rather than feeling like I have to re-write everything I’ve done to that point, I can usually just follow my muse wherever she takes me. (Which is more often than not down a dark alley and into a well-laid trap, but that’s beside the point.)
I try to remain fairly open-minded and flexible when it comes to my projects. If an idea launches out of the stratosphere, there’s a good chance it was “meant to be”. In fact, some of the sequences I’m most proud of from the Blood Skies novels stem from situations just like this. For example…
- Originally, the climax of Black Scars was going to be a small-scale showdown between Cross’s group and the members of the Black Circle. The Circle became more of an afterthought when I got it in my head that there needed to be a massive land-air battle sequence, which, not surprisingly, was inspired by a late-night viewing of some episodes of Band of Brothers.
- Soulrazor was never going to include time travel, but that changed when I was 1/3 of the way through the 1st draft. I can honestly say I’m still not sure why I decided to go with it, but once the idea got in my head, it wouldn;t go away.
- Danica’s fate near the end of Crown of Ash completely came out of left field. I’d had the notion to do it before, but it had never made any sense, and I think in the back of my mind it was something I was going to hold off on for a while. When the opportunity to do it came about, I seized it, and I’m glad I did because what happened to Danica at the end of Crown of Ash became one of the main narrative drives behind The Witch’s Eye.
Sometimes, however, the ideas that fly at you simply do not play well with what you’re working on, and that’s when “the itch” comes into play.
The itch to write something different. To itch to start a new project.
I don’t multi-task well…at least, I didn’t use to. So there was a time when “The Itch” was to be feared, because it meant that whatever I was already working on was, in a word, screwed. These days, however, I’ve found that I can actually write, edit a separate project, and work brainstorming a third all at the same time. And it’s good thing, because this new idea is eating me alive…
No, the title may not stick. We’ll see.
It’s about a super-hero. If I could draw, it would be a comic book, but I can’t draw, so it’ll just be a series of novels. Or novellass. Not sure yet.
What’s it about?
The place is Dagger City. The hero is a telekinetic and energy-yielding bounty hunter named Razer, who just discovered he may be trapped in Dagger longer than he wants to be. Of course, he has no idea how he got there in the first place, but that hardly matters when he’s thrust into the middle of a war between the police and the vicious super-powered crime syndicate called The Scar. Now, whether he likes it or not, Razer is going to have to figure out why he was sent to Dagger, and soon.
Because Razer is dying.
A mysterious stranger glimpsed in a dream may have the means to save him, but only if he can find her in time.
And that isn’t going to be easy, because she’s The Scar’s prisoner.
When is this project coming? I don’t know. I have no intention of interrupting Blood Skies, especially since I’m really cooking on the rough draft for Book 6, and the Book 5 edits are coming along so well. I’m loving writing Cross’s story more than ever.
But DAMN IT!, Razer just won’t leave me alone.
So watch this space. For the moment I plan to keep working on Razer in a brainstorming capacity, and I may share tidbits and ideas as they come to me. And hey, if you know any novice comic book artists looking to go in on a project somewhere down the road, have them drop me a line… ;D