Thursday, March 1, 2012

These Things Take Time

One of the things I'm enjoying is getting feedback from my readers and all of them have said they love my book. Oh yeah, that's hugely fulfilling and a great motivation, but...

Readers having, nearly, real-time access to me can be a double edge sword. As they finish the book they will tell me all the things they liked, the plot, characters, how this guy did this, or that thing worked for them, and so on, but without fail the question each of them have asked me is, 'When is the next book coming out?'

I can almost hear them deflate when I tell them it'll be a few months. 'What?!! Months? Aw man, why do I have to wait so long?' It's that last question that gets me.

It takes time to write a book. Even more so for me since I have a full time job and do all my writing in my off hours. This answer hardly appeases them. They're in the story, and want to know what happens next. 'Months' don't work for them. I even had one reader tell me that if they have to wait that long they'll eventually forget about the characters and won't be all that interested when the next book comes out.
Am I being blackmailed?

When I write I create a back story about each character, town, and so on. It's one of the reasons the characters feel real. They have a history. Each place may be new to the reader but in my mind I saw it built from the ground up. All the small quirks, back alleys, etc.
When a writer simply slaps a character on the page without creating a history for them they feel just like the page. Flat. We've all seen it.

Back story gives depth even when only a small amount of that transfers to the page. It gives the reader what they want and should have. An  immersive world ready for them to experience. Creating that takes time and , to me, is more work than actually writing the story, but is well worth it.
Thankfully with the first book done a lot of the backstory is done and I can put more time into the main story now.

I am very lucky to have readers that have bonded with the characters and story line so quickly. It's a giant complement. I'm working on the next book, so hang in there. It's coming.


  1. No worries brother, as you finish the next book I will read it and enjoy it as much as I enjoyed the last one. Oh and I will give you crap about when the next one comes out.
    Just keep writting great stories for us readers to enjoy and all is good.

  2. I love your comment here about the character's history. I just realised some of mine don't have as much as they should. But of course thinking about their back story means no progress on the one in hand. But it has to be done.

    My advantage is that I had four stories in the bag before I discovered I could self-publish. I thought that would let me write the next ones in peace. Wrong! Too busy promoting them :D

    My friend is just terrified that GRR Martin will die before he does the next in the GoT series!