Saturday, August 13, 2016

Hey Allan, Is "The Door" Still Coming?

In spite of all the excitement of the anticipated release of "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home", this October, I keep hearing people ask 'Whatever happened to "The Door"?  Are you going to finish that story?  I want to know what happened next with Alex, Veronica, Julie, and Cassandra.'

For those who are still wonder the answer is a resounding "YES!"  I am currently working on that story as we speak.  In fact I've been working on it for quite a while...  a really long while... like over two years... (groan)


All right knock it off Roscoe!  I don't need to hear more laughs coming from the peanut gallery.  Sheesh.

Now I hear the rest of you asking, "Why is it taking so long?"  Well the answer is quite simple, I've spent the last 24 months with a serious case of 'too many ideas'.  What does that look like you ask?  Here let me show you...


You see one of the biggest problems I've had was that I kept getting new scenes going that seemed to help move the plot along just great.  But after a while these ideas either wound up derailing the main plot of the story, and eventually I'd wind up hitting the well-known wall called "Writers Block".  In some cases I wound up backpedaling and removing the new scene entirely and found myself stuck once again trying to figure out what I could do to move the story forward again.  In the case of "The Door" this kept happening over and over again, which left me both frustrated and stuck.

Now some people will point out that maybe I should have used an outline and stuck with it before I started writing the story.  While this idea has merit, there are several problems when it comes to me and outlines.  I have certain ideas and scenes so well plotted out that to wind up not using them seems unthinkable.  A cardinal sin, a betrayal of all I've dedicated my life to in fact...

However, my characters have this annoying tendency to not tell me their whole life stories until I'm already writing their current adventure.  Soon, they start developing in ways I never thought of or having ideas of their own, which I wind up finding far more satisfying than what I had planned for them.  So what happens...


They suddenly veer right with the story, while I had planned on having them go to the left.  This happens repeatedly, but most of the time the story winds up much better than what I had originally planned.  So these days I use what I call a 'loose' outline.  There are certain scenes and ideas that I am certain must happen, and have other areas where I'm still not sure how I want to proceed.  So I move forward with what I've got and let the characters help me develop those sections.

For the most part this has worked great.  However, in the case of "The Door" I had a number of scenes that were so solid, there was no way in the world I was not going to use them.  I had them carved in stone, period.  Unfortunately trying to lead the characters and the story up to those moments began to become a problem.  So I kept trying new ideas to allow me to keep those scenes because they were too 'precious' to lose, "Gollum, Gollum.... we wants those scenes... they must happen... we can't give them up... Gollum, Gollum"

Cough!  Sorry about that.  Now you know how a writer's mind works some days.  Anyway,  some of the things I tried to keep those scenes involved a number of tactics, including adding new characters like my vampyre Nathan (my star of "The Vampyre Blogs - Private Edition").  His short-lived involvement with my existing characters allowed me to come up with a whole new host of scenes that really moved the story along.  However, it came with a price.  The word count skyrocketed, because of having to introduce him to the characters one by one, new scenes just for him, along with other new characters, etc. and the story was becoming unwieldy.  So in the end I had to do this...


I took him back out of the story (as most of you know from previous entries).  However, a number of the scenes he inspired were kept.  I simply gave his actions to existing secondary characters instead, allowing me to build up their appearance time in the story thus making them more interesting.  This also allowed me to cut down the word count considerably to something much more manageable, as well as quicken the pace of the story overall.

Still I kept hitting a few more walls.  Finally, I set the story aside entirely and focused my energies on "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home", and two collaboration projects I have going.  This allowed me to keep being creative, and not feel guilty about neglecting this book.  More importantly, it also gave me the chance to come back to "The Door" with a fresh pair of eyes and a more open mind.  

Upon re-reading what I'd done, I soon saw that certain subplots needed to go, while others needed to be built upon and expanded.  I also realized that some of those 'precious scenes' I thought the book could never do without, no longer fit this story.  So I removed them from the mix as well.

The result was losing about 40,000 words, while introducing a more coherent and cohesive storyline that is now moving along very nicely.  Tensions are rising, mysteries deepening, the air is filling with impending danger for certain characters, while fallout from "The Bridge" is being addressed leading to unanswered questions to be addressed.



In short, "The Door" is on its way folks.  I hope to release it in May of next year, or possibly sooner.  We'll see.  Part of this will depend on how much time my studies at university take up.  Classes start the week after next, so I'm trying to get a lot done between now and then.  Furthermore, I'll be expending a lot of energy promoting and marketing "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home" in October.  Then of course the holidays will arrive and life will get in the way.  

But rest assured, "The Door" is coming.  It's taken the long way around to arrive, but its on the way.  Sometimes, writing is a race where you sprint and other times you have to pace yourself and move slower than you'd like.  Rest assured though, that even when you're moving slower, you ARE making progress.

So until next time, take care and keep writing my friends.