Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Writing Corner: Returning to Wheel and Cog

Writing corner is the little corner on my blog where I talk about my works in progress.  To find the rest of the content, click here.

Last week I talked about shelving Sand and Storm for the time being and mentioned that I've been working on another project in a pre-writing phase.  I wanted to talk about that projected a bit because it's been a story idea I've had for a while and returning to this world has been one of the best possible decisions I could have ever made.

It's a steampunk trilogy featuring a very large group of characters, though it has a very tight story (in which I mean that everything ties up and is connected and means something- I try to make nothing extraneous).  Ever since I had the idea, I knew the series would be called The Wheel and Cog Chronicles.  Don't ask why, but it came with the original cast of characters and it works so absolutely well.  Thus, the first in the trilogy has been dubbed Wheel and Cog (or, affectionately, WAC).

The idea hit me in junior year math class.  I didn't want to pay attention because I hated my teacher and I sat in the back so I sketched out the original eight characters and how they were all connected then and there.  I didn't even know what the story would be, just what the first scene was, and the names.  Rarely does this sort of story ever work out for me, but it all just slotted in so perfectly that I was left with eight well rounded characters.  That was several years ago, and the majority of them have kept the same names and all of them have kept the same connections between them (though I added a few new relationships to tie things together better the old ones all remained).

I worked on the idea a little and had a rough idea of the plot of the series, but didn't pursue it too much until that summer when I was in Europe.  One day, in Paris, we were walking and it just hit me that there could be a scene from the book in Paris.  That scene has now been scrapped for good since it was completely unnecessary, but after I figured out that scene I latched onto one particular character and followed him through his journey (which isn't set in Paris- none of the book is set in Paris at this point, actually).  I got from the beginning to the end, and since he interacted with every other character, I got to visit major points in their stories as well.  And suddenly, after a whole day of being completely lost in my head daydreaming, I had a trilogy laid out in front of me, nearly perfect.

And so I tried to write it.  But the time wasn't right.  I got a little into it, but I knew I just couldn't give the story what it needed at the time.  I was a senior in high school and as much as I loved writing I can honestly say I wasn't as mature as I am now in it.  I hadn't read as many "good" books and hadn't really studied craft at all.  The books I was reading at the time didn't really align to the sort of story I wanted to tell.  So I set it aside.  I've always known I would come back to it.  And I have.

As I am writing The Queen's Ransom I've decided I shouldn't just focus on that project.  It's going really well, but sticking to one story almost makes me hate that story.  So pre-writing Wheel and Cog has been a relief.  I think, now, I can finally give this series the heart it needs.  I hope to finish the pre-writing in a month or so, but I'm not going to rush it.  I'm taking my time to finish perfecting it (to the best of my ability) and then I'm going to dive in and seriously get to writing.  It's time.

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