As anyone who’s been reading this blog knows I’ve been working on a trilogy of books. It didn’t start out that way, but that’s what it’s turned into.
When I’d finished the second volume and was mid way through editing it I got another one of those ideas, this time driving back from work. It’s not always the best time as you’re traversing the motorway, but it’s not like you can stop it happening.
The trilogy I’m writing would probably fit into the category of ‘early teen’. There’s no swearing, no sex, no excessive violence (death yes, but it’s kind of fantasy – people don’t mow each other down with guns or anything like that). This new idea was something completely different and definitely adult. When I say adult I mean the target audience would be adult rather than the other use of the word ‘adult’.
I came home and knocked out the first chapter. The book was done in the first rather than third person that the other’s are in and that was in some way’s quite a nice way to write (and if you read my post 350 to 2 you’ll understand more). It started with the central character explaining what was happening to him and as ideas go I think it was quite good.
Now, you have to understand that my wife reads. A lot. She can knock through at least 2 books a week without breaking a sweat, and that’s fine. We spend time together and that’s her way of relaxing in the same way that writing is my way of relaxing. The other books I’d written – and I know she won’t be offended by me saying this – aren’t what she would choose to read. She read them because she (a) wanted to (because I’d written them) and (b) because I asked her to, and gave me some good feedback. In fact I’d go as far as to say her input in how some things came over was critical (especially in the second book, the ending of which is now completely different to how it started out).
Anyway, I’m getting off the point. After she read the first chapter of the book she turned to me and told me that this was the sort of book she’d choose to read and was actually quite excited about it. So now the dilemma started. I’d always said that after writing the second book I was going to take a few weeks off, play a bit of XBox and then start the third book. The problem now was that I effectively had two books on the go. Should I take some time and write the new idea or carry on and finish the trilogy.
Now, there are obviously different opinions on this. If I put aside the trilogy for a while would I feel the same about it when I came back to it? Would I have the same vigour I had before? Would it be better if I came back to it later? Would I ever come back to it?
So I started to write some of the new book. But you know what, I feel like I’m cheating on the old one. I feel like I’m cheating on the characters, as though in some way I’m being unfaithful, after all, I created them so surely it’s my job to make sure they get to tell their story.
You’re probably sitting there thinking ‘tosh’ but I can’t help it, that’s the way I feel. We’ve travelled 800 pages together and surely I owe Sam, Laura, Hannah, Alex, James and Pete more than that. Don’t they deserve to have their story finished to the best of my abilities without being distracted by something else? The worst thing is every time I sit down to do a bit of writing on the new book I can almost hear Sam in my head tutting.
And that’s been my dilemma all day. And I’ve made a decision. The affairs over, I’m going back to the trilogy and when that’s finished I’ll move on.
But until it is finished I’m going to stay faithful.