What I’m Currently Working On: Plotting Mythical Menagerie Series 2

These last few months have both dragged on interminably and flew past faster than you can say “lockdown blues.” Can you believe we’re in July already?

The last time I posted an update I was all excited about a new novella I’d been plotting. I scraped together the courage and flew through the first 3500 words faster than anything I’ve ever done, and then stopped. I hit a difficult part of the story and took a break to think about it, and never went back. I think the Covid-19 lethargy had finally caught up to me by then and I just wasn’t feeling it. I didn’t think I could do the story justice, and I still don’t, so I’m letting it simmer again for another time.

Also, Myth Hunter, the complete Series 1 of my Mythical Menagerie short story series, was published on Amazon! You can still read it for free on Kindle Unlimited here. I was in a spin getting the book trailer ready and scrounging for pre-release reviews and watching the sales page when the book was finally available. That initial excitement has worn off now, but it reminded me how much I enjoyed writing Ambrose’s story.

Which leads me to where I am now: I’ve started plotting Series 2!

I’m doing it a little differently this time. For Series 1 I had a vague idea where I wanted the story to go, but I plotted each installment separately in some weird plotter-pantser-plantser hybrid manner that meant that I wrote each story before I knew what was going to happen next. Each subsequent installment was nerve-wracking, because I didn’t know if I was just floundering forward or actually writing something worth reading. Some of you might remember that I had to scrap my idea for the final installment and start over again just to make sure that the novel felt like a complete story on its own. I was pretty lucky that it all worked out in the end, to be honest.

So this time I’m sitting down and thinking about the whole thing before I start writing. I know I want to do roughly six stories again. I know (more or less) where I want it to go. I’m still figuring out how I’m going to get there. The first three stories are pretty solid in my mind and I’m showing herculean restraint by not diving in with the writing just yet. From story four onwards, things are still a little blurry at the moment. I’m resisting the temptation to go ahead anyway until I know what needs to happen in those middle installments to get me to the end of book two.

While I’m mulling all this over, I’m doing some more research into mythology and folklore to make sure that my stories stay unusual and interesting. Ambrose will still romp around Europe, but he’s also going to venture a little further away into the Far East, and my knowledge of Asian mythology is sketchy at best. It doesn’t help that I haven’t been to either China or Japan (two of the likely settings in the series), which is probably another reason why those last few stories are still foggy. I need a research trip!

If you have any comments, requests or constructive criticism after reading Myth Hunter, please let me know either in the comments below or via email or on my Facebook page. Some readers want more Daniel, others want less Sarah, some would like to see a specific city featured. If you think there’s anything I can do to improve on Myth Hunter, shout at me – I can take it. I’d love to make the next book even better!

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