So, I’m back from... we’ll call it medical leave. I’ve slowly made the foray back into social media, even Facebook—gasp! While I’ve been away, however, I have done some productive things. I met all fifty achievements for Skyrim on the Xbox 360. Oh, and writing related things… I finished the new cover and back cover copy for The Clockwork Giant, updated the book’s content to include an excerpt from the second book as well as my new bio, and I made a difficult decision about the second book, The Guild Conspiracy.
I’m putting it on hold.
But then I started to get better, and I realized that I needed to do something productive. Finishing the new version of The Clockwork Giant was on the top of my priority list, so I did that. And then the aforementioned medical issue took a terrible turn, hence the reason I just stepped away from the internet and writing and friends and well, everything. Because of my health, I just didn’t have the energy to do much more than sleep, eat, and stare at things. But as I started to get better, I tried very very hard to get back to writing, or at least working on something related to my writing. I managed to finish the new version of The Clockwork Giant and its new cover. But the more I thought about diving back into The Guild Conspiracy, the less I wanted to work on it. My brain was pretty much fried, and I realized that I just didn’t have the passion for it anymore.
And then my mind drifted to something else, a project that I put away over two years ago. Since I took my writing break, my mind has been going back to that project. Nearly every day, I’d think of something else that might make it the story I had originally envisioned. And those thoughts became more frequent and more right, until finally, near the end of last week, I had an epiphany. While taking a shower, a stroke of inspiration hit, and in about ten minutes, I figured out how everything tied together, especially character motivations, which I was sorely lacking when writing the original. And then this weekend, I started working on an outline for it, expounding upon my character motivations until I had a solid first act.
And I’m excited about this story. So excited. Ever since I made the decision to put the story away and wait for the right idea to come to me that would fix it, I’ve searched and searched and kept my mind open for ideas. I worked on something else (The Clockwork Giant), hoping that writing another book would enable me to go back to this first story with more experience and a better understanding of the craft. And it did.
I knew what was wrong with the original story. Agents told me what was wrong with it. But I wasn’t yet a good enough writer to fix that problem. But now, I am. In the original, the characters were so-so and underdeveloped, and the plot sort of meandered about until it came to a so-so conclusion that didn’t really make a whole lot of sense. I was a pantser then. But now I’m more disciplined. I’m a better writer. I understand how to write good characters (or I think I do), and I know how events need to string together in order to make a good plot. I think that finally, I’m a good enough writer to make this book as good as I originally imagined it.
This was the first book I ever finished. I wrote the first bit in my final semester of college and the rest the following summer. I submitted to agents, and received a little interest, but it didn’t amount to anything, obviously. I am undeterred. I chose to self-publish The Clockwork Giant, and I do not regret my decision. In fact, I plan to self-publish more than the Chroniker City books, whenever I get to that point. But this book, this is the book that I want to be my debut into traditional publishing, and I’m willing to put in the effort to make that a reality. I believe in its story. I am passionate about it, and that’s something that it has over The Guild Conspiracy.
So, since I’ll be working on this, it’s pretty obvious that it’s going to be a while before The Guild Conspiracy is published. I’m okay with that. I shouldn’t force myself to work on something that I don’t have passion for, especially when I have the motivation to work on something else. When I finish this new project and go back to The Guild Conspiracy, I want to be passionate about it. If I tried to write it now, it would be a lackluster book that would disappoint my readers and hurt me as an author.
So, to my fans and readers, I hope you understand my decision to put the second Chroniker City book on hold. And if you don’t, well, I’ll just have to deal with that. But, I do plan on releasing something set in the Chroniker City universe sometime this winter: a collection of short stories following characters that you’ve met already, or will meet in the next book. That’s something that I can work on sporadically, something short that I can easily write and polish in time for a December publication.
And for a nice little conclusion, here is my new paperback cover for The Clockwork Giant:
|click for bigger size|
In an age of science, even the most unlikely engineer can change the world.
CHRONIKER CITY, 1881
Petra Wade, self-taught clockwork engineer, wants nothing more than to become a certified member of the Guild, an impossible career for an impoverished shop girl. Still, she refuses to give up, willing to do anything to work in the Guild’s exclusive workshops. When she meets Emmerich Goss, she finally finds the opportunity she’s been searching for.
Newly recruited into the Guild, Emmerich needs help designing a new power system for a top-secret, Guild-sanctioned automaton, and he is convinced that only Petra can help him. But if her involvement on the project is discovered, Emmerich will be marked for treason, and Petra will only be so lucky.
Working in secret, together they build the clockwork giant, but as the deadline for its completion nears, Petra discovers a sinister conspiracy from within the Guild council…
Their automaton is only the beginning.