On Experimenting, a Breather, and Reviews

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I’ve not been posting much here apart from the samples of Oranje recently, and that’s because I’ve been taking a little bit of a breather from the September series.

It’s only been a pause of a few weeks, but releasing Oranje and then diving straight into Choices was beginning to feel like it wasn’t allowing me a chance to look back at the book and learn some of the lessons from it.

This break has also been a nice chance to do some experimental writing. I already have plans for what I want to do once the September series is finished, but what style I do those books in is still up in the air. From what I’ve done so far I think I have a fairly conversation based writing, which has it’s positives and negatives. I’ve been trying out a few ways of writing to help bring out the pros and reduce the cons, such as help the dialog flow more and improve the setting/description.

One of the styles has been a sort of audio/video log, where it’s one person telling the story and then going into more details in scenes. The other is more of a non-fiction history book style, switching between interesting info sections and fly-on-the wall documentary bits. This way certainly draws on a lot of what I’ve read over the years as I’ve devoured a lot of non-fiction military history books.

This is still very much early messing around with some different ways of writing, but I’m pleased with how it’s been going. Both styles offer something, and there are lessons to be learnt that I can work into the writing of Choices to make it better.

I’d also be lying if I said the reviews of Oranje weren’t also a factor in this. On Amazon it’s sitting at a 4 star average, and around 3.3 stars on Goodreads. It’s not setting the world on fire, but no one wants to set it on fire so I’m fairly content with that. If I said I was happy I’d be lying, I want to amaze people with my writing but I’m obviously not at that level yet.

There have been positives in the reviews, but negatives as well. The word potential has been used a lot. I’m hoping this break to experiment a bit more with my writing, and to give me a bit more perspective on Oranje, will help me close the gap between that potential and the reality of my writing.

That’s the plan at least.