Side projects and group blogs

I might have mentioned it, but I started a side project a month or so ago. I have a loose idea of a trilogy, and wanted to keep something going.

My plan is to have someplace to dabble whenever I have an hour. I learned some lessons from Lanternfish, and I can wait to publish until the whole thing is complete.

Right now, I have the final Lanternfish coming some time late Fall or early Winter. Good Liniment will follow maybe in February. I have time to fiddle with something while I scheme about promo and other needs.

Right now, the side project is at 22,000 words. This milestone stuck in my mind because of something I’m working on for Story Empire. It’s going to be a series about three act structure. At this length, I’m pretty much through act one.

I decided to assess my own story through the lens of act one. This is a found family kind of story, and all characters are on the table. Without a ton of backstory, readers should know who they are and what makes them tick.

I’m always weak on setting, but feel like readers will understand this is science fiction, and each location will differ to a degree. I have to remind myself to detail each new place, but we haven’t gone there yet.

We haven’t seen the actual bad guys, but witnessed some of their handiwork in the form of a terrorist act. Still debating whether to put a character on site, or let them experience it via news broadcasts. Since it’s a side project, I could go back and change things. It’s pretty clear what the problem is, and what kind of plan my characters have.

Because this is intended to be a trilogy, the plan is more personal. They’ll get exposed to the bigger picture as the story unfolds. They’ll need a different plan. I couldn’t do it quite the same way in a stand-alone.

If I’m missing anything, it has to be the stakes. Important in act one of a stand alone, but I have some wiggle room in a trilogy. They’ll figure it out as they get exposed to a bigger universe.

That’s something to consider for my Story Empire posts. I have four posts planned, but there should be a wrap up, and I might get some Expansion Packs out of the deal. Three act structure isn’t a rigid framework.

I’m already moving into parts of Act Two before I finish Act One. This is how it should work in a book. It’s not quite the same as a stage production. My characters are already dabbling in training and research. We might not get to the stakes for a few more chapters.

Eventually, I’ll start another main project. It will probably be something for Lizzie and the hat. If that doesn’t happen until Winter, that’s fine by me.

In other news, I picked more Asian pears this morning, washed them up, then restocked the refrigerator. They’re so much better this year for some reason. It could be the tree is maturing, might be the extra effort I put into thinning them this Spring. Might even be the extreme summer we had. Either way, I’m eating them for as long as they’re still good.

Have a good weekend, everyone.


Filed under Writing

34 responses to “Side projects and group blogs

  1. Enjoy the pears. They sound good. Great progress on your projects, Craig. I love the bits you’ve shared about the new trilogy. Happy plotting! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re making great progress on your side project, more words than I have on the book I’m working on. You sound excited about it. That shines through. And it sounds fun. I’ll be interested in your Three Act structure blogs. I’ve never been able to make that work for me, so divide my books into quarters with a twist at the end of the first three. But like you, I’m not that rigid about it. Enjoy your pears!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Have a great weekend Craig. Will be interesting seeing what you come up with for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Bette Stevens is harvesting apples. You’re gathering pears. All signs of fall – my favorite time of the year.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Gwen M. Plano

    I don’t have any fruit trees, but my neighbors have apple trees, a favorite during the fall. The behind-the-scenes glimpse of your trilogy sounds intriguing and 22,000 is an achievement, Craig. Happy writing!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sounds like a challenging side project. Wonder if the pears will make a cameo. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Planning is always good. I like that you’re thinking (and working) multiple projects ahead. That’s a huge plus for a writer!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sounds like good progress is being made. Have a good weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great to hear about your ongoing writing projects and the Asian Pears too, Craig. Life speeds by, but you do a good job of keeping all the balls in the air. Cheers, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. D.L. Finn, Author

    Glad your side project is moving along, Craig. Nice you have some Story Empire ideas too! Enjoy those pears 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow, another new project, Craig. Well done to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Your side project sounds exciting, Craig. I’m simmering one too, on the absolute quiet and it IS nice to work on something absolutely for oneself.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Found family stories are some of my favs. As far as readers understanding it’s sci-fi, don’t be so sure. With Subject A36, a reader wasn’t so pleased with it and stated the plot wasn’t possible – duh.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Those pears sound delicious! We got more pears this year, too, but every single one looks deformed. Made no difference to the critters who ate them. 😉 Good luck with your side project!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I haven’t specifically followed the 3-act structure, but it’s a popular one. It will be interesting to see how it works for you and if you enjoy it. A great side project. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Victoria Zigler

    Sounds like the side project is going well so far. Looking forward to the final Lanternfish book and next Lizzie And The Hat story.

    Liked by 1 person

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