Hello and welcome back to the blog! There is still no news to report on the querying front. Yet I keep at it. Waiting really is the hardest part. Literary agents are busy people, so I understand. It doesn’t make the waiting any easier though. I have some things on my mind, and this is the forum to let it out. With that in mind, let’s get started.
- Last week I started editing From Darkness Comes… It’s going well so far. I’ll make my way through the novel two or three times before calling it finished. It really depends on how well each editing session goes. In the past I have done one draft followed by what I call a hard edit and a polish edit or two. With Breaking Character: The Craven House I decided to do a full second draft. Most mistakes and plotline issues were addressed in that second draft. It made the editing go a lot smoother. So far with From Darkness Comes… it appears to have had the same affect. Only time will tell.
- I entered the first draft of From Darkness comes… feeling it would have a hard time living up to Breaking Character: The Craven House. I felt so for good reason. While writing Breaking Character it was as if I were living a dream. The writing felt better than ever. The characters turned out better than I had any right to imagine. The plot was sound and intriguing. I had even managed to get over my slow start and create a story that was fast paced from chapter one. Everything came easily. That wasn’t the case with From Darkness Comes… but that’s okay. I put more work into the second draft of this one. I saw it change from a story that was good yet flawed to plain good. It’s not finished but when From Darkness Comes… is finished I think it will be better than Breaking Character.
- Stories are a funny thing to a writer. I had a revelation while writing the previous note. Breaking Character is an idea I had floating in my mind for a few years before I sat down to write it. So, it would be fair to say it’s my baby. I hold it in higher regard than others have written. From Darkness Comes… was a story that popped into my head when I was thinking of writing another novel while I queried literary agents about Breaking Character. Just because I hold a story dear or in a higher regard doesn’t mean others will do the same.
- My wife will tell you that I’m a pessimist by nature. I won’t argue with her because she happens to be right. With that being said, I can’t help but feel positive about my writing these days. I have one good novel which I am currently querying agents about. In the next few weeks, I hope to finish another good novel. There are brighter days just beyond the horizon. I can’t wait to get there.
- I have talked about doing research for stories in the past. In most cases it comes down to Googling something and reading the search results. During the writing of From Darkness Comes… I ran into a problem with the information I found. The main character of the story can make objects move using only his mind. You and I would probably refer to this phenomenon as telekinesis. However, according to several articles I came across that is an outdated term. Psychokinesis is the preferred term used these days. Every writer I have read on the topic has called it telekinesis. My gut instinct told me to go with telekinesis as well. So, what do you do when a couple of expert’s opinions differ from your gut instinct and popular opinion? I went with telekinesis. I have spent too much time worrying about it to care anymore.
- A movie theater has made an appearance in both Breaking Character: The Craven House and From Darkness Comes… Movie theaters have held a special place in my life. My first job was working at a movie theater. I spent about seven years working there and did everything from cleaning theaters to running projection. I also met my wife while we both worked at a movie theater. I’m thankful every day that she took it upon herself to get the quiet guy to talk. I did, but only to her. It hasn’t really changed.
- On this blog I have talked a lot about two writers who have had a great impact on my writing, Stephen King and R.L. Stine. Mr. Stine was my childhood idol and I still pick up a Goosebumps book from time to time. Mr. King happens to be my favorite writer as an adult. However, just because they’re the only writers I have mentioned doesn’t mean they’re alone on my bookshelf. Joe Hill, Gillian Flynn, Jonathan Stroud, J.k. Rowling, Richard Matheson, Edgar Allan Poe, Richard Chizmar and Rick Riordan are well represented as well.
- A few days ago, I almost renamed From Darkness Comes… again. Blackout was the would-be title. It arrived in a eureka moment that I have described before. It made all the sense in the world. There was a double meaning behind the title which I realized I was striving for. During this blog post you’ll have noticed I have stuck with From Darkness Comes… Why? Google “blackout book” and look at the search results. There isn’t just one other book with that title but many. I’ll stick with what I’ve got.
- Since I’m in the beginning stages of editing, my mind has been turning to what I will do when I’m finished. For a brief period, I was considering writing an adult horror novel. The next day I received the rejection from an agent with the kind words that I mentioned last week. Perhaps it was a sign. Perhaps it was only an agent speaking kind words to a writer during the rigorous querying process. Either way, I’ve decided to stick with middle grade for the foreseeable future. Instead, I’ll turn my attention to book two of the Breaking Character Series.
Thanks for reading. Until next time, remember to follow your dreams, even if they terrify you.
Stephen Michael Roth