The beginning of a new story. That time of tilling the ground and planting seeds. The wind pushing characters this way and that. An arc coming together.
The truth is, halfway through writing this thing I'll be swinging a hammer at the keyboard and sobbing into lukewarm coffee because I'll be lost and frustrated. It's like giving birth. Without the blood and tearing. But everything else.
I just finished the rough draft of Ronin: The Last Reindeer. That needs to simmer a few months before I polish it one last time. In the meantime, it's back to the notebook to start a new story.
So this is a sequel to The Waking of Grey Grimm.
There's an upside to writing a sequel. There are already pieces to pick up. This is how I start. Write all the character names and what happened. Start scribbling possible story arcs in one line sound bytes. Circle the ones that have heat. Come up with possible twists. Mix in a pot and stir.
With no deadline, I like this. I come up with some ideas and sleep on it. That's where the creative knots get worked out, in the twilight of dreams. It's been been a couple of weeks now and I haven't typed a single character, but I've sketched out the following.
It's twenty years since book 1. The Maze is now legal. Freddy (the detective in book 1) has become an agent with a special skill set. He can sense when he's in the Maze, can taste the essence of another reality. When he runs into an unusual case, he begins to follow clues that lead him back to an incident that happened twenty years earlier--the Grimm case. This will lead him a worldwide conspiracy and begin to reveal the true nature of the Maze, how it's absorbing this reality to make a new one. The only thing that's keeping that from happening is the essence of Sunny Grimm. But that might come to an end.
Or something like that.
I'm still a little ways away from hitting keys. Once I do, this could all come together over night. Or fall apart. I was 10,000 words into Foreverland is Dead when I started over. That's the agony and the challenge, to see if I can pull this together and come up with a story that's compelling and unpredictable. No matter how painful, I keep coming back for more.
Same way people have more than one baby.