Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my third book, because it seems to be a bus careening towards a cliff, except I keep extending that cliff, and the bus is trying to find a way to throw itself off and I’m just telling it over and over “NO, I’M NOT DONE WITH YOU.” This first run-on sentence is kind of what my third book is like.
I’ve been trying to find a way to salvage some of it, while at the same time, and do what I want with the book. My entire goal with this novel was to expand on the blood they’ve received from Jerome. I want to expand on what kind of powers it gives, what its potential can be, and move further into the science fiction area.
My first and only idea was to simply make them shape-shifters: animals. I’ve had this idea from high school, which is how old the spirit of these characters are, here or there, but I find that I have a hard time suspending my own disbelief on the likelihood of their powers. I want science to be able to explain it, even if I have to make it up as I go. I don’t like the “they have these powers that do this and that’s how it is” type of elaboration.
In Laurell K. Hamilton’s novels, her werewolves (rats, hyenas, panthers, etc.) all have a blood-born pathogen that gives them their powers, but beyond that, I’m not sure how it’s elaborated that they can remake their entire bone structure other than it’s just “energy” or “magic.” It’s actually very believable but I’m not sure I want to go that route, mostly because she’s already done it.
What my characters (I call them the “Undying”) have now is a greatly increased strength, endurance, healing, as well as greater senses. Their bodies don’t shut down. They’re werewolves without the animal. But it’s always taken a backseat to the actual plot.
I’m extremely proud of the second book, Torsten, which balances plot moving forward with the challenges of this blood-born disease they have. Not only do they cross the world, but they live their lives and manage the power while doing it. In some ways, I consider Torsten my first book, because I feel like it lived up to what I’d like my writing to be, and let me know what kind of potential I have.
But now, I have to repeat it? I’ve set competitiveness with myself pretty high. Bloodwork hasn’t been cutting it lately. It’s almost like its two separate stories, with nothing connecting them, and that’s a failure on my part to plot properly.
It’s all practice, and they all teach lessons. With Aznaro, I learned I could actually do it! I could write lots of words. And they make sense (mostly)! With Torsten, I refined what I’d learned. I (as my dad constantly says) got organized. I feel like I took too much food to chew with Bloodwork. I’d also like to keep my tradition of naming the books after characters, but as Naro and Torsten are still the main characters, who is left? I may have to let that tradition go.
So my point of writing this winding post is announce (to myself) that I need to restart Bloodwork, and rework the plot into something manageable. It’s time to leave some ideas behind, and refine others.
Let’s have a god-damn adventure!