Horror is hard.
Specifically, writing horror is hard.
More specifically, writing horror for longer than 2,000 words is hard.
It's not my forte. It's a struggle and I end up spinning my wheels more than I actually get any work done. Am I making excuses? Probably. But I haven't wracked my brain so hard for so little return with any of my other books before.
Granted, there aren't many to choose from, but still.
Astral Tides: The Shadows of Uhmakhet is the first sequel I’ve set in place with the intent to publish. While I have written sequels before, it was years before self-publishing was ever even a thought or belief I had in mind, ever before it was even known to me, let alone considered achievable. The Shadows of Uhmakhet is also my second foray into the universe of the Council, the Union, and, more importantly, the crew of Captain Daltir Stone.
Rimward ended on more of a cliffhanger than any other book I’ve written thus far. And my plans with the story and the series was to make it huge. Six books, at minimum, cataloging the events of Captain Daltir Stone’s life from the first page of Rimward all the way to the final book. And if I decided to take it further, then I would, and if I decided to do spin-offs, then I would. Somewhere around episode five of Rimward I was riding high in the clouds on the fervor and excitement of the story, the characters, and the hanging plot threads, and I felt I could run this story for years without ever running out of steam.
And then I started The Shadows of Uhmakhet.
Hey readers! I had a video ready to go up today, but for some reason I've been having issues getting that video to upload properly, so I'll stick to what I do best - writing.
At least I think that's what I still do best.
For those of you who read last week's blog post, you'll know that recently I've run into the double-edged sword that is becoming a better writer. I won't go into great detail, but on the one hand, it means that I feel more confident in my ability to craft evocative and inspiring tales with memorable characters. On the other hand, it means that the drive I once had for my current projects, including Astral Tides, has been all but killed. While I am still writing almost every day, I am having a much more difficult time hitting my word counts, simply because I feel less satisfied with the story than I did a few months ago.
That's not to say the story has taken a sour turn. On the contrary, it continues to ramp up in action and mystery as we progress through the second of three parts. No, this strange feeling of dissatisfaction only stems from the fact that I feel I am capable of writing better stories than that which I have already started.
I like to think that I'm a fairly optimistic and level-headed guy. I won't deny that there are days when my head seems totally in the clouds, and this generally happens when I'm either about to start a new project, or when I'm just finishing a current one. The desire to see it, and anything I do, soar with all the potential I know it has is strong, and it doesn't take long before I'm overwhelmed with the dreams of seeing the books line shelves in stores they will likely never see, resting on coffee tables they will likely never touch, and be followed by other books, toys, movies and television shows that will honestly never happen. I hate my work when I'm doing it, but when I'm done, it tends to be the best thing in the world to me.
And yet, the last few days, I have felt marred by an undeniable sense of inadequacy; a worry that my work isn't worth sharing, or even completing. It's a strong feeling, and while I can pinpoint what fanned its small spark into a roaring flame, it's much more difficult to pick out what caused the spark in the first place.