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Gearing up for the next book

That erm . . . I don’t even have a title for yet. lol I have it under a working title, which is the one I use for my notes and outline notebook. That is, “Doppelganger,” since it’s basically the entire idea behind the story. That the two women don’t understand they have a literal twin version of themselves walking about in the world. Not twin related, but twin as one looks identical to the other.

Just happens that way. They’re not twins separated at birth. They’re not some medical experiment, lol. It’s just that they happen to look exactly alike. Personality-wise, not. Nothing similar about their personality.

On one of the cover ideas I started to use the title, “Discovery & Deception,” but I’m not sure if I’ll keep that. It just makes me think of a soap opera? Dunno. lol It doesn’t give me the right feeling. I’m sure it did when I first wrote it down, and who really knows. Potentially it will work out. Never know. For right now, I have it on the covers I’m playing with since I started using it on one, and it works. For the writing block tracker at the bottom of the site, I may use a working title like that, or “doppelganger.” Still a lot to figure out.

I am also working on the outline and notes. I have a bunch I’ve written down. May share some if you’re interested. If you are, feel free to let me know in the comments.

I am still trying to figure out how to start it, where to go. Well, not entirely start. I think the best starting point is having him discover the doppelganger right after his wife dies. I can’t say much more on that front because if I do, it’ll give too much away, but I think that is the best place to start it from. It’s where I’ve felt it should start the story since it first came to mind. Usually when that happens is a feeling I trust and it works out well.

Take for example Dark Illusions: The Beginning – Extended Edition. When I first wrote that, it started with Kat running through the dark city streets. When Jeanie and I first began working together, she suggested it start just before (if I remember correctly). Whatever the suggestion was, I’d taken that and altered the beginning. Back then I wasn’t as confident in my ability to tell a good story, or to go with what I felt was right for me. I trusted rules and direction (not just hers, but say grammar rules and what the “advice” is from anyone who’s in the business?) more than what my gut said.

In life I have learned – listen to that voice. Makes me think of the snoring Doberman at my feet. When I saw her picture at 4 weeks old, the gut said – that’s yours. Lot of issues came up in getting her. Lot of fears, lot of insecurities, lot of “this isn’t happening,” thoughts. At the end of the day, I couldn’t escape the “this is right, this is it,” feeling always there. Even if I doubted it.

It worked out that it was the same with that story, and with many of my stories. I just knew the story needed to start with Kat running through the dark city streets. Gut, the “right,” feeling, you name it. So I rearranged a lot of the first chapter quite a few times and finally settled on what you read now. Kat running through the dark city streets.

For the record, that story alone has been altered and redone I’m sure at least a million times alone. What? Whoooooo is exaggerating? Surely not me. I imagine it’s been a million and one.

You can actually read that first chapter here – Dark Illusions: the Beginning – Extended Edition – Chapter One

Needless to say, if you get that feeling it’s best to pursue it. Or, trust in it. It’s not easy and in life (for them pesky life things) you’re gonna doubt it. You’re gonna fight it. You may not trust it. You may be afraid you won’t get it. You’ll be absolutely convinced – it ain’t happenin.

Four years ago, the gut said this was right. Mila was gonna be mine.

It’s not any easier to trust those things for writing. But in the case of a story start, I’ve followed that gut instinct and it’s always worked out well. I’m sure someone out there (definitely more than one) would look at (we’ll keep to that DITB example) the Dark Illusions chapter up there and state – this isn’t how it should’ve started. You should’ve done this, that, I would NOT advise ever doing this!

Everyone has an opinion. Everyone isn’t you writing your story. I did alter that beginning. Even that altered beginning would get critiqued. I could change it to please everyone (majority) who read it. Guess what? Still would be wrong to a crowd.

This is why we don’t alter just to please a critic. No matter what, we’re going to be in the wrong. This isn’t to say don’t listen to advice. Listen, heed, then trust your own self. I admit too that I didn’t trust myself for a long time with writing. I didn’t know what to listen to, what not. That comes from experience, just like anything else. It takes risking being the failure and looking like a dum dum to learn. Same with anything else in life.

Eventually we get to that place where we do listen. Because at the end of the day the story is ours. Unless it’s the difference between being published and not, or making a sale or not, consider if it’s worth that fight. It’s not an answer I can give. If I needed to make money to feed a family say, I’d probably alter to please. I wouldn’t be happy in the least to do it, but until one has been poor, and needs to get that $, it’s far too easy to say, “Well I would never.”

But if it’s not a “I desperately need this money,” situation and you’re willing to take that risk, go for it. More so if you’re a self-publisher. We’re allowed to change stories if we like. We’re not forced to please. At the end of the day, we’ll never please everyone so I go with the decision that brings me happiness. Where I know I’ve told MY story how MY readers want it. As in, readers want the author to tell THEIR story.

I’ve referenced this before on here so I will again. It’s like George R.R. Martin. Could you imagine if he changed Dany to please a crowd who wanted her married and to stay home? To not free slaves? I’m sure someone out there would’ve liked that story. It would’ve changed everything. I want his stories told as he tells them. I don’t want him to alter them based on a reader. Not even me.

I’d lose respect for an author who did that. I have. I’ve seen someone take a fictional world and then apologize to their fans for how it may come across to some. They’ve now changed their bio to reflect that. After that, my interest slowly dwindled and these days I barely keep up with them. Because they bowed to the crowd who didn’t like what they offered. When in reality? Those are not the readers for you if that’s the case.

Writing is not an easy business. We have to be true, even if it makes people angry. And it will. Oh boy it will. Someone will come across this and suddenly hate me with a vengeance for what I’m saying, then will hate my work because of it. Just because. I’m sure there are some who do follow me just to sneer and huff, then snort, “she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”

It’s life. It’s human nature.

Doesn’t mean we are wrong, or they are, or we are in the wrong as an individual. Just means someone isn’t pleased with us being who we are. That has nothing to do with us.

Trust what you feel as hard as that can be. Trust that voice (despite the struggle) that says – this.

If that story says this beginning? Go with that one.

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