Writers Journal Vol. 2:4

images (11)‘Panser’ or ‘Planner’ Writing

A Blog2Book Novel Series

The Challenge

When I started writing ‘The Remnant’, I was part of a writer’s group that met twice a month for inspiration and to share two prompts each (no more than 500 words per prompt), as well as working on my first book (non-fiction, ‘The Unforced Rhythms of His Grace’), researching my second and writing content for my blog, ‘SSpjut|Writer’s-Blog|Stardate‘. Since I am a fantasy/historical/romance/fiction, writer/reader at heart, I didn’t want to lose sight of my first love. I also didn’t have the time to come up four completely different prompts every month.

One or two yes, four, no.

One day, while trying to find a solution whereby I could work on the my non-fiction books, satisfy my passion to tell stories, as well as come up with weekly content for my blog, I started thinking about how most of my favorite authors had taken a single story and turned it into a series of stories (Terry Brooks’, ‘Shannara’; Jim Butcher’s, ‘Harry Dresden Files’; J.K.Rowling’s, ‘Harry Potter’; R. A. Salvador’s, ‘Drizzt Do-Urden’; Charlaine Harris’, ‘Southern Vampire Series’, ‘Aurora Tea Garden’, ‘Lily Bard’; Dana Stabenow’s ‘Kate Shugak’, Liam Campbell; Anne Perry’s ‘Monk’ & ‘Pitt’; Jeanne Frost ‘Cat & Bones’ – the list goes on). The idea of doing something similar was like a pebble inside my shoe that wouldn’t fall out.

My Solution,

. . . take the writing prompts I had already been given and use them to create an ongoing story – 500 words at a time.

What began to emerge was a tale about post-apocalyptic Seattle ‘The Remnant: A 500 Word Prompted Novella (which I later changed to ‘The Remnant: A Dystopian Paranormal Story). Something along the lines of Terry Brooks’ ‘Void and Word/Shannara’. But instead of a fantasy about fairy and elves and demons, mine would be dystopian/paranormal with vampires, werewolves, damphirs, sorcerers, ‘reavers’ and humans, with a few angelic Watchers thrown in just to spice it up.

That’s as far as I got, and to be honest, even that much planning didn’t happen until about the third or fourth prompt. Outlines didn’t come until around the eightieth or so episode.

Problem solved. I was satisfying by my need to write fiction, fulfilling the bi-weekly writing prompts for the writer’s group, and supplying weekly content for my blog site.

A truly ‘panser’ approach to writing a blog-to-book novel series.

But eventually I realized I needed to have some sort of destination to begin herding my characters towards. A way to give the story depth and purpose. In other words, I needed to start planning where this story was really going.

That’s when I came up with the idea of having Spider (leader of the Damphirs, a species created to kill the ‘undead’) decide the only way he can keep his people safe is to take them up into Canada. But in order to do that, they’ll have to get past the Conclave of Four – Strigori, Rodannian, Varloc & Human – who have their own reasons for not wanting Damphirs to leave Seattle.

What started out as a way to keep working on my non-fiction books and still be able to scratch my itch for writing fiction, has snowballed into a series of books, of which I’ve now published the first ‘The Gathering’, and am currently working on the second ‘The Exodus’, with plans for the third and fourth.

(Next month I’ll share how researching the nine covenants mentioned in the Christian Bible led me to begin writing the ‘Keys of Destiny’ series).

Sharing the journey


Want to be the first to read the latest ‘blog-to-book installment of ‘The Exodus’ (Book Two ‘The Remnant’), as well as new of up coming book releases, writer’s journal, character short stories and profiles?  Click Here

Be sure to visit my new publishing site – reigningpress.com © SSpjut, 2015; All Rights Reserved.

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