plan ahead

March 26, 2019

When I was a kid and decided that someday I wanted to write a bunch of books, I thought it would be simple – tell a bunch of stories and sell them for millions of bucks.

Uh huh. Looking back, I’m amazed I was bright enough to graduate grade school.

More than three decades after I first attempted to write a novel, I have one published novel, one completed work being prepped for publication, and two more novels that are currently in process. It may have taken a while to get here, but I am finally at a place where I know where I want to go with my writing. And while the whole million dollar thing is a fictional story in its own, my ultimate writing plan (while still in early stages) has been mapped out. It involves 10 novels, and I only hope to live long enough to see it through to fruition.

THE OPENING QUARTET

My first four books are either finished or in the works. Of course my initial novel PUMMELED has been available for sale since last summer. My second novel, the horror tale Dragon’s Blood, is set to be released in October (although I may be able to get it out earlier). I have been having a blast creating marketing materials for this one. Expect another book trailer to be released in the coming months prior to its release.

My excitement over the release of Dragon’s Blood is not only for the obvious fact that I’m publishing another novel. Unlike PUMMELED, which was a major feat in its own, this time I am putting a horror story out there. That was my ultimate goal from the minute I decided I wanted to put the effort into a full length novel. As an avid horror movie and Stephen King fan, that was the genre I wanted to delve into. So yes, while PUMMELED helped me accomplish a lifelong goal, Dragon’s Blood also accomplishes a major aspiration. And the majority of my subsequent novels should also fall into that same category.

I have two novels in the works – Clippings and Welcome to Oblivion. Now I am not going to get ahead of myself and spill the plots of each one, but I will say that the former is going to be a uniquely structured novel. By that , I mean you will read a novel that is formatted and told in a way never seen before in literature (at least I don’t think it has). As for the latter, WTO was started more than a decade ago as a stage play but never materialized. Partly because of time constraints but also because it became more difficult to imagine this story on a stage, given the number of bizarre elements I was wanting to add. It sat in limbo for years before I decided to brush it off, outline a full story, and transfer what I had already written into book form. I have VERY high hopes for this one. This by far is one of the creepiest stories I have ever told. I initially gave both of these WIPs a tentative release date of May 2020, but realistically we are looking at much later next year before I am able to get them out there.

THE SEQUELS

Beyond the two WIPs currently in progress, my next two projects will be the sequels to the first novels. For the next saga to the Bree Aniston tale, I have already written the opening scene, and I have a tentative plot typed out. I have not gone into full outline mode yet, but each idea that pops into my head gets written down. I think there is certainly another story to be told about Bree, her friends, and her vigilante “business” of going after the domestic abusing assholes of the world.

I can’t really get too into the sequel to Dragon’s Blood, seeing as the first one hasn’t even been officially released yet. But I can say that a sequel is part of the 10-Book Plan. Again, I only have a few minor details of where this story is headed, but I know the basic premise and how I want it to further my ultimate story.

FINAL FOUR

The last four books of my plan are the haziest at this time. Once I conclude the sequels, I have a couple ideas of where I want to go next. One of those is already partially outlined and should be a cool, supernatural type of thriller. Another is likely to be an antagonist-driven plot about a retired, dirty cop whose past may be coming back to haunt him. Then there’s a story about an ancient being in the ocean, but that one is the least developed of all the ideas.

My final novel (at least for this project) is the combination of all my novels. It will be my horror version of The Avengers in which I will bring back numerous protagonists and antagonists for a culmination of everything that has come before. Again, this one is in the infant stages, but each novel (including the PUMMELED books) will lead up to this one big novel.

What do y’all think? Is the 10-Book Plan a feasible one?

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Eric Woods resides in Springfield, Illinois and has been writing since grade school. The author of 10 full length stage plays, his first novel PUMMELED was published in June of 2018. He is in the process of finishing his second novel, the horror story DRAGON’S BLOOD which is scheduled for release in October 2019. Eric has been a local freelance writer since 2005, writing for such outlets as Springfield Business Journal Illinois and SO Magazine. He serves as a tour guide for the Lincoln Ghost Walk in Springfield and was a collegiate speech and debate coach for seven years. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a Master’s Degree in Communication from the University of Illinois Springfield.

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