Behind the Scenes: Unruly WIPs

I couldn’t possibly describe how difficult writing a book has been for me. What makes this especially hard is that I have officially decided to TRY to write my one novel… as three novels. Destroying Eden, as I have been calling my historical dark fantasy novel-in-progress, has been an ambitious project since I decided to lengthen it from a novelette into a novel. Now, I am leaning toward making it three novels.

I have had this inclination in the past, and I have decided against it before. My original intention for Destroying Eden was to tell bits of story from various characters’ first-person points-of-view, in a strategic, non-linear order, and have it all add up to one big conclusion. With this plan in mind, I created the free sample chapter that I offer on my website. Dimitri is not a main character, but the chapter (which I pulled from somewhere in the middle of the book), is important in connecting some dots in the main story-line. This is a chapter I love, and it feels particularly “vampirey” which is why I chose it to promote my book with.

But trying to write my story in a way that is compelling and easy to follow along with is something that I need to keep in mind. I believe the mixing of POVs and chronology is a bit more literary than a fantasy novel deserves. There is a part of me that wants to pull it off, but trying to tell such a story is not only complex, but after talking with an agent about POV and then thinking more on the nature of readers, I believe it will be hard to follow and that it will be so derivative from normal storytelling that readers might become frustrated with having to wait to find out what happens next, or might never know what happens next if the chapter was about a character who may not appear again. I’ve written many chapters that I love with this approach in mind, so it is a shame to feel like I’m tossing it out.

However! I recently had the epiphany of a lifetime, and I intend to spend the month of August planning my new structure to get some idea of whether it’s as feasible as it feels like it is right now.

The agent I had spoken to made a very good point about the fact that switching POVs in the same book can make all of the characters sound the same, even if the author doesn’t necessarily notice it. I would hate to kill my story with this, but I can see it happening to me, and I don’t want it to. I have no interest in delivering a story that confuses or bores.

So I’ve decided to narrow down the POVs… to ONE per book.

There will be three books total. And each will be a prequel to the previous book(s). I believe that this will satisfy the feelings that caused me to want to tell a non-linear story to begin with, while still being compelling and not confusing. This is how I tell three stories that add up to one, big, exciting conclusion. This is how I travel from ancient Greece to (possibly) modern times. This is what this story deserved all along: organization, strong voice, compelling linear progression in a non-linear arrangement. Three. Books.

The working title of the series will remain Destroying Eden. The books will be titled as followed:

  1. Witch Queen
  2. Vampire Prince
  3. Nephilim King

The Dimitri chapter will no longer be from the middle of book one, but will now be the first chapter of book two.

I still don’t know that I can pull ANY of this off, but I believe that I can, and this all may change again. Have some patience with me while I update the website to match my new plan. I also have ideas for smaller stories from some of my side/favorite characters.

I hope to update you in a month with new progress. For now, keep checking in, and hang out with me for things like Vampire Book Club and watching a different vampire movie every weekend (I usually talk about this on twitter).

If you want to know how I’m doing on my Vampire Fiction Aficionado journey, you can always check in on my progress page.

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