Options and Decisions (aka An Abundance of Ideas)

Over the last couple days, I’ve mentioned here and there I’m in the process of evaluating career options, and a subset of that evaluation is choosing the fiction projects that’ll come up once Breath of Stone is launched in the coming month(ish).

The overall career stuff is… complicated. A matter of deciding priorities, time expenditures, current needs, future plans, and professional satisfaction. Some things are working wonderfully, but I’m not certain I want to keep working them. Other things are more risky and will require time investment, but I’m drawn to them nonetheless. We shall see. ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway! It was suggested I share my Next Project Dilemma to see what y’all might want to see next. So! *drumroll* Here are the fiction projects on the horizon!

Books Three and Four of Desert Rising: These are the SheyKhala novels, picking up after Breath of Stone. These are long booksโ€”at least 125K words each. They take awhile. That said, Book Three is completely plotted and partially written. Book Four is partially plotted.

Tomorrow’s Bones: Continuing the story of Sword and Chant. Chant was written as a stand-alone, but was always the opening to something more. This is a story that nags me often, but has a much smaller audience (at least at this time).

The Slaughterer: Something completely different! A stand-alone about a bounty-hunter pulled into his family’s decision to run a kind of Underground Railroad for magic workers.

Suffragette Story: This one dropped into my brain, almost fully formed, during last year’s Sirens Conference. It’s alternate/secret history of the fight to gain women the right to vote, complete with magic and martial arts.

The new series I still struggle to describe: If I had to describe it, I’d say it’s paranormal rural, but sometimes urban, contemporary fantasy. There are ghosts and small towns and historical sites and some city settings and sentient elements being manipulated as weapons. Each book is shorter than my usual tome, and I’d likely complete three of them before even publishing the first.

So… There are considerations that must be taken into account. Current faithful readers, market sizes, audience potential, variable time to be invested on each project…

But I’d love to hear what you think! The reader’s perspective, the writer’s perspective, your perspective.

Help me out here, my darlings! Talk about preferences as a reader, scheduling experience as a writer, knowledge, gut feelings, EVERYTHING.

Crossposted at These Certain Musings.ย  Comment here or there.




8 thoughts on “Options and Decisions (aka An Abundance of Ideas)”

  1. They all sound wonderful, to be honest (and I’m not just blowing smoke here), but I’m mostly drawn to wanting more “Sword and Chant” and being really intrigued by “The Slaughterer”. That being said, more S&C isn’t really necessary because as you say, it’s a standalone and it was extremely satisfying – I’m just fond of the characters. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I’m so glad you liked S&C. It’s near and dear to my heart, and I’m always giddy when someone actually enjoyed it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Its sequel is loosely connected to the Desert Rising series. And you’re right–it doesn’t really need one. But *I* know what comes next, so it keeps nagging at the back of my thoughts. It’s nice to know someone would be interested in reading it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Given how much it sounds like you’ve already got done on book 3, I would say that if it’s still engaging and exciting to write, I’d keep working on that, interspersed with other projects. If you feel like a break from it, though, I would put it aside until it feels fresh and draws you in again.

    Reading through these descriptions, the one that next drew my attention was the paranormal rural. That sounds just delightful. I really enjoy reading other authors’ widely different worlds; I’d like to see what you do with one that feels at the same time so mundane and so magical.

    Slaughterer would be my next choice – again because of the difference, though in characters rather than setting. But I haven’t yet read Sword and Chant (it’s nearly at the top of my stack, though, so soon…); I may change this tune once I’ve delved those waters.

    1. Yeah, the more I think about it, the more I think I need a wee bit of time away from Desert Rising. Not very long, mind, but just a few weeks perhaps.

      Now you’re the third person to hit on the paranormal series!

    1. Oh, cool! This would be a slow-working project, I think. As much as I have plot and character, I’ll still need to do a ton of research. And I admit it makes me a little nervous, taking on a project fictionalizing such awesome and determined women!

  3. Oooh, I LOVE the Suffragette idea! The Slaughterer and the paranormal sound great too =).

    I feel like part of the consideration has to be how much time (and reliable internet) is going to be allotted for writing when you’re on your adventure next year?

    While on one hand I’m inclined to think that continuing your momentum on the Desert Rising books would be advantageous, if you’re going to need to take a break from them you can build up momentum again when you’re ready to a) write two large books and b) have them come out back-to-back. Since you already have so much pre-written/decided, those would be easy to pick back up.

    Then you could take this year and write a smaller book and work on the smaller ghost story books when you’re traveling so you have more time to, you know, travel. The timing for that might work out well, since you know you want multiple ready before you start releasing!

    Just a thought! Exciting to see what you have on the horizon in any case =); best of luck with the work decisions!

    1. Good point on the travel-planning for next year. The internet access isn’t so much of an issue–I’ve been amazed by the number of commercial camping/RV places that have free wifi!–but the time and mindset most certainly would be.

      And momentum on the series IS important. I know I lost tons of it because of last year’s move and everything.

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