I just finished the first draft of Metatron’s Legacy, a single title follow on to the last book in the Metatron’s Army series. I thoroughly enjoyed writing this book as it was a return to my writing roots in a way.
The Idea: As I’ve written previously, this story was inspired by what I saw and experienced during a Near Death Experience. The story developed over a period of some thirty-five years.
The Method: In all honesty, I hadn’t planned on publishing the story I’d been weaving. I was “inspired” to do so in 2013, though I had several other projects to complete before starting.
Inspired is polite-speak for something nagged at me to go for it.
Getting the story down was a monumental task. The primary challenge was making sense of the images and sensations.
I was ten at the time. I easily accepted everything I’d seen and experienced. It was only when a number of adults began asking me to explain what I saw and felt/experienced that I began to have issues. There was no common frame of reference, so getting them to understand was difficult.
Fortunately, by the time I put fingers to keyboard, I’d had plenty of education and life experience to help me understand – or at least articulate – the concepts.
As I’ve written, math and science did far more to explain it all though it would be misleading to say there was no paranormal [read celestial] component.
I decided that, given the enormity of the information to be disseminated, the story would best be served as a saga, and as such, would span several books.
Each book would be a chapter in the main character’s life.
Whenever possible, I integrated actual events though I integrated them in a meaningful way.
i.e. Spirit School became Energy School.
I changed celestial/energy beings/characters as appropriate for the story and edited out anything that didn’t move the story along.
An entire fight scene I mentally “wrote” in 1989, while stuck in traffic near the Pontiac Silverdome, was tossed.
I initially wrote each book from beginning to end, taking breaks between, but discovered that it was better for me to just keep going.
Unlike a regular series, each book in this series is part of the story itself.
I have most of the story in first draft format.
I am writing the climax/endgame first drafts and hope to have them done within the next few months, even as I continue to publish the previous works on a regular schedule.
The Idea: I had no intention of writing a follow on story to Metatron’s Army.
I was dealing with the climax of the series and, given the intensity of it all, was looking forward to getting back to “regular” paranormal fiction.
The furnace needed servicing and I was down chatting with the awesome guy doing the diagnosing. Suddenly, sparks started shooting out.
He didn’t even bat an eye, was as cool as a cucumber. The guy is just awesome.
He found the source of the problem – a wire was frayed – and given it was in a metal environment – was arc’ing. I’d seen arc’ing years before when a repair guy was diagnosing an issue and – oops – hadn’t turned off the circuit breaker.
Watching electricity arc across the bedroom ceiling is interesting. I have to admit, he was calm about it, though I was concerned – about him/his ability. I asked if he knew what he was doing and suggested my very handy EE husband might be a good consultant to tap. Turns out the fixture was wired incorrectly but the lightning spark show was from his not having turned off the breaker before starting the job. Fun.
The furnace guy took care of the problem.
Convenient to have heat in the winter.
I lay in bed that night thinking of Metatron’s Army and how I have Arcs.
The Iconoclast’s army of bad dudes.
Given how electricity, magnetics, and energy in general play such a key role in the story, I couldn’t help thinking how cool it would be to use arc’ing in some unique way.
So, thanks to a broken furnace, I got a great plot device.
The Method: Port in a Storm** was the last single title I’d written and though I’d done series work before, Metatron’s Army is unique in that each book is part of the overall story instead of being a single title within the series.
Even though I had characters crossed over from the MA series, I was delighted to take brand new characters with their own story and write something unique and stand alone.
Though if someone has not read the series – there are several spoilers in Metatron’s Legacy.
I am thrilled with and proud of both projects but it really was special to have a stand alone with a unique, if tangent story.
And a blast to work with old characters in a totally new way.
Now, it’s time to get back to the first draft of Pin, Book 8 in Metatron’s Army.
Pawn Storm, Book 6 will be available June, 2018.
What I learned
- Inspiration can come from unexpected places – go with it
- Ignoring inspiration is not a good idea and will likely cost you sleep, if not peace of mind
- Develop a work routine that works for the project
I wrote Metatron’s Legacy in 9 days. That is a first as it is close to 90,000 words. The story would not let me rest but now it’s done and I feel ahhhhhhh.
- Working backward (in a time loop) can be really helpful
Metatron’s Legacy takes place 19 years after Metatron’s Army. Telling of events that already happened before I’ve written them – in Metatron’s Army – from the point of view of characters in both series provided insight into what I need to do in these last books. It was as if I was getting advice from characters who had gone through events I hadn’t yet written – a “make sure you do this/talk about this/convey this character’s feelings about the event.”
As time/dimension travel is a key plot element, I had to also acknowledge that characters who appear in different times are different because in one dimension, they have not yet been changed by the experiences they go through, while in the other dimension, they’ve been changed by events that are often traumatic and definitely life-changing. This provided incredible depth to the characters. It was a great opportunity and one I hadn’t planned in advance. It just grew out of the situation and became a learning opportunity for me as a writer.
- Don’t force yourself to take breaks
Because the books in the series are so closely linked together – the next one picking up where the previous left off – I discovered I do much better moving on to the next book right after getting the current one published. Taking a break caused a tremendous amount of stress as I tried to pick up the emotional thread of the work after days if not weeks off.
- Celebrate the magic in the process
More than once when I found myself wondering if there was a point to it all, some synchronistic event would happen that let me know I wasn’t alone and that I was on the right path.
- Tap into the creative force
Watching movies, talking to other creatives, and creating music play lists for each book has been incredibly helpful. Music, in particular, has fed my soul while I poured my heart into my work.
Figuring that out can take longer than you might think so if you want to be a writer – start!
I admit, I totally suck at this. Finish one, on to the next. But I AM enjoying the process – I LOVE writing! This is what I’ve wanted to do since I was 3 years old. Everything I worked at in life – my career choices – was with this in mind.
**I have more adventures for the tiny town of Port Gallatan scheduled for future release, so stay tuned.