Generally, I’m awake for about 15-16 hours each weekday. About 9 hours go to working at my secret job which leaves me with around 6 hours of time not at that job. About half of that non-job time goes to shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, gaming, etc. while the other half is absolute free time. I’ll be honest and admit that I don’t write every day so sometimes I spend that time completely on gaming and watching TV/movies. However, when I’m working on my written projects I tend to use up all of that time.
At the moment, I spend about about an equal time writing for The Academy: Second Volume and planning my 2014 series. Lots of cool ideas for what I’m writing next have arisen because I spend so much time thinking about it and those ideas are now free to use when I’m writing. What I’ve learned since I finished my first project in 2011 is that I’m no good at strict planning and it kills me on a creative level. But letting ideas simmer is a lot of fun for me and now I can still be organic in my writing while keeping myself aligned with the vision that I have for the series. I’m confident in the number of plot developments I know will happen, but I don’t necessarily know how I’m going to get there. I really like the characters that I’ve got so far and I’m looking to further define who they are and add interesting new characters to the mix as well.
For The Academy, right now I’m mostly rewriting content I’ve accumulated since the end of the First Volume. I’m once again encountering a bad habit of mine from the early days (um, less than two years ago…) where I randomly changed the tense of the story for no reason. It can be a little disorienting correcting each sentence individually, but upon reading it back it always looks better and fits with my vision for what’s happening. I’m certain I still have some tense issues, but that’s more because I like to interject at certain points in my story and emphasize certain ideas. Whether or not that’s something that has been effective is something I’m still debating, but I think it’s worked fine so far.
As the months go on, I’ll likely dedicate more time to The Academy: Second Volume simply because I’ve already learned so much about my 2014 series. New ideas will continue to arise, but I’ve gotten a great head start on the project and when it comes time to begin writing I’ll be able to have fragments of world and story waiting for me along with strong characters who will guide me through the story. In fact, I’ve liked this method of planning so much that I’ve already started thinking about even more series and potential ideas. What this will do is give me the advantage of choosing from multiple potential projects in the future that already have some sort of form so I won’t have to say something vague like ‘alright, time to write in this genre’. Instead, I’ll be able to say ‘now it’s time to write this specific story I’ve been thinking about for years’.