BRINGING A STORY TO LIFE: WRITING IN REVERSE

Going forward in reverse”

                           – Ozzy Osbourne No More Tears

It isn’t unusual for me to start writing the next novel in my head even as I’m finishing the current project.  What is interesting is that this time I’m writing the novels of a series in reverse.  I’m finishing the first draft of The Day Before and while I have another one planned as the next project my mind is working on a book scheduled for release four books from now.

Maybe It’s the Series.  As a series Dragon Core has always been a bit of an adventure.  

Albeit a fun one.

Old Is New.  It’s a reconceptualizing of a 3-book series I wrote in tenth grade.  Interestingly, I still have those files but never once looked at them when going forward. 

I still haven’t.  I’ll probably just delete them.

The original plan for Dragon Core was to have four novels and though I toyed with the idea of a fifth one as a finale to the series I ended up pivoting when I fell in love with a few of my characters from Cauldron of the Gods.

I’m really happy with how Shadow of the Gods turned out.  It ended up being a great way to shed a bit of light on the history and cultural norms of shape shifters from Chancery Lumina.  

It also provided another opportunity to pivot.

Inspiration.  Redemption gave me a chance to provide insight into the Scathe.

Who are the Shadow and where do they fit in the universe?

It was a lot of fun to write for a number of reasons including a “What if it did happen just not that way?  as part of the premise.  More, it allowed me to draw from a real life experience.

I knew from that day in Diamond Head that I would someday use that experience in a book.  Turns out it will appear in at least two, in multiple series.

Writing Redemption also challenged me in that I had to take a character who was “difficult” in another book in the series and make her likable as a main character.

Two At Once.  There’s an additional twist to this writing in reverse.  It isn’t mentally writing a new story while finishing the current one.  This time I’m writing books 6 and 7 in the series before books 4 and 5 are finished.

And 7 is going to be finished – mentally speaking – before 6.

This is new for me.  I’m guessing it will be difficult not to publish whatever I finish first.  But this would mess up the order of things, so I’ll forebear.  In the meantime, The Day After, a Dragon Core story, will be available in Autumn 2021.

Stay tuned.

COLONY UPDATE: ADRIFT

I’m happy to announce that Adrift, first Sequence in the Colony Series is in the hands of the beta reader.

Though there is plenty of work still to be done I anticipate a late March 2021 release.

I was pleasantly surprised but very happy with how this complex story launching the series came together. 

Though I had a general idea of where it was going, for the first several weeks I had only one plot line and three characters to work with.

The story unfolded itself to me as I went along.

As with all my work I focused on the characters that make up this story.

Though the setting is sci-fi the characters face many of the challenges faced by humans throughout history.

I enjoyed getting to know my characters as I wrote the story.

  • Who are they?
  • What motivated them to be part of a deep space terra forming effort?

What kind of person sets out on a trip that isn’t just one-way but may not even succeed?

In this series I work with characters who are one step beyond passionate.

What some might call obsessed.

  • How do they handle adversity?
  • What do they consider when doing a cost benefits analysis?
  • How do they live with the consequences of their actions?

I will be releasing additional information about the Colony Series in the near future.

I am on track to release Lessons From the Edge: An Author’s Guide to Metatron’s Army Spring 2021.

I am also working on new material for the Dragon Core Series.

I’ve missed working on this series but made good use of my time away from it as I solidified plot elements and dealt with changes in the character line up.

I anticipate the next Dragon Core story to be available Late Summer/Early Autumn 2021.

Stay Tuned.

PULLING THE THREAD

I’m what some might call a synchronicity junkie.  

I think it stems from having a gift for pattern recognition.

Though I don’t see an omen every time I open my eyes I do acknowledge that wonderful and often amazing coincidences may be messages from the universe.  As such I hold those who act as the messenger in high regard.

Many times people don’t even know they’ve been one making it all the better.

Grasping a Thread.  Several months back a friend asked a question, followed by what would seem an innocuous comment about goals.  Though I responded that updating my goals was on my to-do list, I didn’t do much other than jot a few down.

I set the list aside and haven’t looked at it since.

Pulling a Thread.  What neither of us realized at the time was that her harmless bit of polite conversation let loose energy that had been blocked behind other more pressing needs.

It was the total disruption of the pandemic that allowed for the space in which to address those needs clearing the way to circle back to the goals.

The Spool Unwinds.  As the holidays approached, I was putting the finishing touches on Redemption.  Without a looming deadline I decided to turn my attention back to the goals, focusing on professional ones first.  Before Redemption even hit the press, I’d totally revamped my goals.

I even managed to work in a few personal ones.

The Empty Spool.  By the time the New Year rolled around I’d completely revamped my web presence in a manner that reflected the updated goals.  It was time to turn my energy back to writing.  

It IS Empty!  The mental and emotional energy spent throughout the intense process that spanned months left me struggling to get started.

I was spent.

Pick Up The Thread.  Though I recognized the need for a break I also knew what would happen if I went much longer without writing.

Panic!

My mind would look for another place to focus and the next thing I know I’d be doing housework!

Cleaning a house that I’d already cleaned.

To prevent such a downward spiral, I went through the motions of writing the next story.

Fortunately, there’s plenty of up-front work to do before I even start typing the first chapter; work that can still make me feel productive.

Pick Up The Spool.  As I allowed my energy to recharge, I tested the waters for which of the three stories under consideration I would work on first – by thinking about it.

It’s Still Empty.  At this point I realized that while I was comfortable with my choice and the follow-on steps to make it happen, there were problems.  

Problems I didn’t understand the nature of though I knew it wasn’t mental exhaustion.  I had recharged enough to get back to writing.

I decided to hand the problem over to my subconscious.

I have a trick to help this process using what I learned about the alpha frequency in the Silva Method.

When that didn’t do it, I pulled out the big guns.

Event Horizon.

For several days I worked through Event Horizon exercises, focusing on a variety of topics only some of which were related to my career.

I gained insight into a number of other non-career concerns and even got the plot for a new series.

Freed of mental clutter I was able to start on the novel.  

However

The Unraveling Continues.  This morning while I was going through the routine that primes the creative pump I came to see that the reason I was having trouble was because my goal revamping wasn’t finished.

I debated between running an Event Horizon session or the Free Cell session.

As I’d just done several EVs I decided to try the FC.

I listened to music from novel inspired playlists while playing rounds of Free Cell.  

It’s so mindless my mind relaxes – aka Silva Method Daydream State AND Stare – so I can focus on problem solving.

The Free Cell method showed that since the goals for my career changed the goals of the series needed to change too.  As I followed this thought through David Bowie and other artists I identified flaws not in the series but with some of the characters.

They were too shallow or otherwise had flaws that were going to cause problems in the very near future.

I’m happy to say that I worked everything out and now have a roadmap forward.

And all because of an innocent question…

Stay tuned.

new year new focus

I would like to take a moment to wish all readers and visitors to this site a Happy Healthy New Year!

May it be better than the one we’re leaving behind!

As the year winds down, I am putting finishing touches on a weeks’ long effort to ensure my web presence is in line with my business as it is and as I look ahead.  I’m proud of what I’ve done.

It was a lot of work!

Though I’d originally planned the various tasks to be spread over several weeks, culminating at the end of January 2021, I ended up doing a marathon stretch over several days.  

Which I couldn’t have done without the help of my team so kudos to them!

This means I’ll be able to get back to novel writing as soon as next week.

If not sooner.

I learned a lot through this year-end project, including that I don’t want to go through something like this again anytime soon.  

I am mentally fried.  Definitely looking forward to a bit of New Year’s Eve celebrating at home.

To that end, I’ll be scheduling this type of task management more regularly throughout the year.

To be fair the work I do at end of year doesn’t typically involve monumental shifts as this one has.

What’s New?

  • I’ve added a video to the Redemption Landing page.
  • I’ve redesigned the Ghost Games Case File book covers.  The new covers will be uploaded within the next few days.
  • I’ve added Alerts to the Metatron’s Army site.  This is where I’ll post the latest information on this series.
  • I’ve rebranded my business to Scifimagick: Where sci-fi meets passion.
  • I’ve created a scifimagick Facebook business page.  Posts from Elizabethmaxim.com and metatronsarmy.com will be fed to this page.

What’s Next?

I’m already at work on two new Dragon Core novels.

I have Ghost Games case files in the queue.

I have plans for additional Metatron’s Army stories.

I have a new series in early stages. The badge for this new series is on the Facebook banner.

Stay tuned!

REDEMPTION NOW AVAILABLE

I am pleased to announce that Redemption, a Dragon Core story, is available for purchase.

It’s one of the longest books I’ve written.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working on this story and it’s turned into one of my favorites.

Along with Metatron’s Legacy which was a joy because, taking place twenty years after Adjudication, I had freedom to write a story related to but outside the series.

I have other novels I love for a variety of reasons but these two do stand out.

So much so I find myself reading them just for pleasure.

I have a number of projects in the queue

  • Videos
  • Website Content
  • Another Dragon Core story

Stay tuned!