As part of my author guest blog series I am proud to present another guest blog spot. The Fathom Flies Again I am very excited andthe author of
The Fathom Flies Again
So go get your copy!
‘flying by the seat of one’s pants’
by James Walley
As people who have followed my fevered rantings between releases may know, I am something of a pantser. By that, I mean that my writing style tends towards ‘flying by the seat of one’s pants’, and not some other dubious proclivity as the name might suggest.
Much like the characters in the Wink tales, I find that sitting back and letting the runes fall where they may often brings pleasing results, and it is also fun to sit in front of your keyboard, wondering where imagination (and wine) will take the story that you are crafting.
It wasn’t until I started work on the third book of the trilogy that I realised a pivotal reason why I preferred pantsing over plotting. Plotting is flipping hard.
I suppose it could be because I am naturally disposed towards a more open ended style of writing, after all, any sustained writing project is challenging in itself. It is the very nature of trilogies however, that they harbour a bunch of dangly bits that need tidying away, tying together, or in many cases haplessly fretting over for days on end.
Did I mention that writing is fun? It is, honest. I’m not complaining, I’m just inwardly cursing myself for setting up so many rules and so much lore with the reckless abandon of someone quite happy to deal with it all later. And you have to do that, don’t you? Otherwise your little three part opus wouldn’t be very interesting. Dangly bits are always interesting, I’m sure you’ll agree.
In all seriousness, you can’t have it both ways, and buildup will always lead to pay off. And of course, payoff needs a good deal of thought, and an even greater deal of backtracking to make sure you’re getting it right. And this is the point where one has to dutifully ditch one’s pants, and get one’s plot on.
Of course it is also quite fun, like building a sandbox, and then getting to play in it. Provided that you don’t stray outside the sandbox, and remember where you buried all the land mines. But naturally, there has to be a culmination of story arc, of character, and a resolution which sees the fruition of something that you started two novels previous. All of this, which seemed so fluid and organic up til now, arrives on your doorstep shouting, “Stop typing immediately and deal with us.”
I’ll be honest, that’s pretty terrifying when you’ve been pantsing since day one of your writing career, and it doesn’t have to be. It just takes some getting used to. In a way, I think it’s a good thing, almost like a writing growth spurt – You’ve gotten your characters all this way down the rabbit hole, and now it’s time to get them out of it.
This realisation came to me almost from day one of writing the third chunk of Wink. I had come up with my opening chapter at the same time as I was finishing the last chapter of The Fathom Flies Again, and all seemed to be proceeding as it had before. As soon as that was penned, it hit me that this was the endgame, the landing that I needed to stick. So of course it had to be bigger, better and see everything fall into place.
So far, the third Wink novel has proven to be the most challenging thing I have ever written, because it forced me out of my comfort zone. I’m told that’s not a bad thing, and to be honest, after the initial shock of misplacing my pants, I am inclined to agree.
The Fathom Flies Again
About The Fathom Flies Again Wink #2
It’s time to wake up and smell the carnage. Just as every night gives way to dawn, all dreams yield to the break of day. For Marty, that’s kind of a problem. When you’ve fought killer clowns, sailed the seven skies, and generally laid waste to your own dreamspace, real life can be kind of a drag. At least, until your nightmares crawl through the cracks and shadows, and take a liking to your town. When the jesters come a knocking, it’s time to man up. When the unmentionables under your bed come a biting, it’s time to grab your trusty, pint-sized pirate compadre and lead a charge against the night terrors. What does this mean for Marty? It means the crew of The Flying Fathom are back, surfing on rainbows, swashing their buckles, and saving the world, one sleepy little town at a time. Book one of this series, The Forty First Wink, brought you a glimpse of utter, rum-swilling madness. Now The Fathom Flies Again, pushing you over the edge and chuckling at your plummeting screams, before scuttling off to find something shiny to steal. Remember, if you hear something under your bed, don’t move. Don’t make a sound. Draw your cutlass and think of something devilishly witty to shout, because things, my friend, are about to get all too real.
About James Walley:
Hailing from the mystical isle of Great Britain, James Walley is an author who prefers his reality banana shaped.
His debut novel, The Forty First Wink, released through Ragnarok Publications in 2014 scuttles gleefully into this bracket, with a blend of humour, fantasy and the unusual.
A clutch of follow up work, both short and long (including books two and three in the Wink trilogy) are in the offing, and have a similar demented flavour.
When not writing, James is partial to a spot of singing, the odd horror movie or ten, and is a circus trained juggler.