Planning Ahead

When it comes to writing, I’m not what you call a good planner of things. I get an idea for a premise, a character, and maybe a vague idea of a storyline, and I’m off. Immortal guy who writes like a blogger? I’m there. Spaceship that lands and then refuses to do anything? Let’s find out what happens! Seven genres in the same book? I can’t wait to find out if I can pull that off.

Basically everything I’ve written, to date, was created because I didn’t know if I could do it, and I didn’t know what was going to happen, and I was looking forward to finding out the answer to both of those questions.

This approach as some advantages. It produces plots that are difficult to predict, and arise naturally from the established characters and situations, because I’m very literally making it up as I go along. I tend to avoid clichés, or if not avoid them, subvert them in some way. And, I rarely get bogged down, because I’m as surprised as anyone where things are going.

There are disadvantages, though. I don’t sleep well, and I’m going to have an ulcer one day, for example. I can’t do much about that. But the one disadvantage I probably can do something about, is the one where I don’t really give myself a lot of time to build out a world.

Everything I put in a book is there to get me through that book. I lucked out with the first Immortal book, in that one of the big reveals—the solution to the mystery of the red-haired woman—was originally in book one, which was originally a standalone book. I decided to pull it out and hold it for later, and then I had the architecture of a trilogy.

Mostly, though, my approach is intended to produce one-offs. The Spaceship Next Door wasn’t initially meant to have a sequel. Neither was Fixer, and neither is Unfiction.

I’d like to change that. To do it, though, I have to do a lot of prework, which brings up some other problems:

  1. I’m no good at writing things not intended to be read by someone else
  2. I’m too impatient to write stuff for a long time without producing something for readers
  3. This entire indie business model is predicated on my publishing books with great regularity; gaps in the schedule are hard to make up

To solve all of these problems, I’ve set up a Patreon page. I’ll be posting new works of short fiction there regularly, for reading and for feedback. Specifically—and you can read about this in greater detail on the page—I’m building out a new world for a series of science fiction novels (something between The Expanse and A Song of Ice and Fire) and I need a place of my own.

If you want to be a part of this, become a reader! I would love your support, and the entry level tier is a quite reasonable $1.

All the information on the project, and the benefits of each tier, can be found on the Patreon page. Click here, or on the donation buttons showing up in a couple of prominent places on this website.

I hope to see you over there!

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