Writing Update: Shadow Puppet Mysteries

2 weeks from now, the first part of Shadow Puppet Mysteries will go live for everyone to read for free. Today I’d like to talk a little bit about my process for writing this series.

When it comes to a mystery, the most important thing to do is to know the solution. In order to create a fair mystery that can be solved it’s necessary to know the full truth ahead of time. Beginning this January, I started thinking about RMV Mysteries 2 and the idea of shadow puppets came fairly on although this concept evolved throughout production.

While working on the first scenario, I also worked on the background scenario and touched it up as necessary. If there weren’t enough people to suspect, I worked on the backstories for certain characters and made them more mysterious. If the logic didn’t quite connect, I adjusted the tale so that the solution would make sense from beginning to end. In this way, both the first scenario and the truth behind the entire series was constructed.

The first scenario’s rough draft was completed back in June, but I’ve given myself several months to not only revise and make the story better but also to start development on Part 2 of the series. By starting development on the next scenario, it reveals the areas of the story that are shallow and need more depth. Now I’ve been able to take things I’ve learned by writing the second part and make the first part even better as the model for the rest of the series.

While writing a series you have to invent new things, but with a mystery series moreso than anything you want a sense that everything was decided from the beginning so many elements have to be in place to start with.

Creswood was a rather simple mystery, but Shadow Puppet Mysteries has more complexity due to being in development for a longer period of time. Right now my thinking is that there will be seven parts, but everything is subject to change depending upon the reaction of you the reader.

That’s all for today. Please look forward to Part 1 releasing on October 25th and let me know your impressions!

RMV Mysteries Thoughts

The structure of Creswood Mysteries is something that I’ve previously said that I am very proud of. Originally,  the concept for Creswood was to create my largest series to date. It was because of the delay with Memory Blood 2 at the end of 2014 that I wondered if it might be more fun to release it as a quick short story. In doing so, I discovered my preferred style for writing and serializing mysteries.

In the future, I think the RMV Mysteries series will continue like this. Right now I’m thinking of the plot for RMV Mysteries #2 which you can think of as a spiritual successor to Creswood taking place in a new location with a new cast of characters.

Today I’d like to take a little time to discuss my ideas for the future and to reflect on what I’ve done so far.

With Creswood, the mysteries were never too difficult. The goal for the first part was to create something that was solvable with all the clues presented. The detectives were a little too efficient in their investigation though and ended up leaving many of the misleads and traps ineffective by the end of the story. With those out of the way, the path to the truth became far easier to traverse.

Due to this, I gave out the identity of the culprit in the sequel, Creswood Fantasies, and left only one core mystery remaining in the finale Creswood Illusions. While giving away so many answers wasn’t the original intention, I’m very pleased with how the story developed and I wouldn’t change it one bit.

As a natural reaction to that, I would like RMV Mysteries #2 to swing in the opposite direction and be more mysterious and more difficult.

The advantage to releasing these stories in the current format is that I can make them available for free. And if they’re available for free, I can make the difficulty any level that I desire. The stories will still be fair and solvable, but the challenge can potentially reach insane levels of difficulty without making readers feel like they’ve wasted their money on something unsolvable.

As always the mystery will be solvable and by the end the difficulty will be reasonable, but who knows what challenges may appear during the journey to that point…

The title and the premise for RMV Mysteries #2 have already been decided. The core plot is being developed and when that’s finished I can begin revealing the details and when you can expect to read it.

Writing Update: March W1 Edition

At this point, I’m already approaching the end of the second story for Memory Blood. In total, there are going to be eight stories in this first book so I’m nearly 25% complete with the writing which makes me feel great. Already, this is proof that my new writing schedule was well thought-out and that I made the right decisions when it came to the production planning process.

So far, the book’s tone has been very unique. It’s definitely not like anything I’ve written before and I’m very excited about that. While my other series are on the shorter side, I’ve made an effort to make Memory Blood at least 50% bigger than The Library Series and it looks like I’ll easily attain that goal and then surpass it as well. The character reveals start in April so I’m looking forward to seeing how far along I’ll be at that point. If I do enough work, I might be at the 50% mark by the time I reveal the 2 main characters which means I’ll have a lot of time for editing before I send it off for Quality Assurance with friends.

Previously, the QA phase lasted 1-2 weeks (if I was lucky to get everything done in time), but this time there will be not only an entire month of having others read it, but also an entire month to make edits and take that feedback into account. I think this will result in a very high quality product for this summer and I’m looking forward to seeing what Memory Blood will look like in its completed form. There won’t be any time to rest, however, as I’ll be getting to work on the second book right after the first one finishes so I can get it out by the end of the year.

I think now is probably a good time to reveal that Memory Blood will be a 2 year series consisting of four books. So for 2014 and 2015, this is what I’ll be working on in addition to trying to meet by bonus goals of finishing The Orin Chronicles and The Academy Series. As for 2016 and beyond… well, I already know what I’ll be working on. As another fun reveal, my debut mystery series will be coming after Memory Blood! There’s a lot of planning required for this, so I’m glad to have the next two years to get everything into place so that I can properly write it. You readers, as well, should probably use these two years to prepare. The current plan is to have a high difficulty across the entire series so you’ll need to be well prepared for the challenges to come.