Noodles in a wok

Writing is going well on the second book. I’ve said this before, but the lessons learned from writing the first book are making this second time around much smoother and better. I’ll be taking the time and effort saved to try to become better at this business of writing!

I’d like to start this post by quoting from G. Powell’s review of From the Dark on the Amazon store page:

Andy Huang has the mind of a psycho physicist. I found following the convoluted paths of his imagination to be amazing.

G. Powell, thank you, thank you. The keyword here is “convoluted.” Thank you, G. Powell, firstly for bringing up this important aspect of From the Dark, and secondly, for understanding that the “convoluted paths of [the] imagination” needed to write the book can be a damned fine thing.

Yes, the plotlines in From the Dark are convoluted!

They are complex, messy, and intertwined with one another. They were born out of taking each plotline in the most interesting, exciting, and dynamic fashion I could think of, then having all the plotlines cook together like noodles in a wok.

Yes, it all can be difficult to follow at times. I really have to do better with that. My wonderful beta reader Tiffany Dawn Munn at Owlediting tried to tell me about the importance of signposting. Like anybody else, sometimes I don’t know what others don’t know because it’s all in my brain. This is all a factor in the writing and something I’m taking care to be careful about.

But it was a great way to write From the Dark. It allowed for emergent plotlines—things that sprang from moments in the plot. It wouldn’t have been as good if I had sat down and prescribed the plotlines from the start (albeit that I did have a general direction I wanted things to go.)

There were massive hairy, headachey moments where I had to figure out sticky parts of the plotting. But on the whole it was worth it. And like I’ve said, I’m definitely learning to do it better for the second book. One of my other beta readers, Persephone Grey, had told me in her feedback that the book was unpredictable. It got that way because, to be honest, it was unpredictable for me as well. It was a wild trip writing it. I hope to do it all over again for the second book.

Speaking of which, here is a blurred-out screen capture of a chapter-by-chapter plot outline I made while writing From the Dark to make sure of the continuity. As there are different groups of characters in the book, you can see there are three major lines that intersect with one another. Not every interplay between the characters is mapped out with a line, but the positions on the chart helped keep track of continuity. This chart helped me maintain some semblance of sanity amidst the madness.



In other news, From the Dark will be going on sale from the 21st to the 24th of September (a few days hence!) It’s as good a time as any to pick up the book for a friend, or three.

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