Monday, May 21, 2012

The End of an Era: What the Flamel Series Means to me

On the eve of the release of The Enchantress, the final book in The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series, I'd like to share some thoughts on what this series has meant to me.

Life long friends
At the request of friends that I met through our love of Harry Potter, I read The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series. At the time I did not know how much one book series would mean to me. Through  my involvement on the fansite, I have worked with and met so many amazing people that I never would have come into contact with if it wasn't for the series. I've traveled across the country and the ocean to meet some of the wonderful people that share my love for the Flamel story. And I've developed life long friendships that I don't know where or who I'd be today without them.

New experiences
Aside from the travel, I've had so many new eye opening experiences that never would have happened if it weren't for this series. I learned so much about myself and that I can really do anything I put my mind to, even if I know nothing about it from the start. I learned to podcast, I learned to edit, I learned to write and I learned to be adventurous.

A fabulous author
If you've ever had the esteemed pleasure of meeting Michael Scott you are truly a lucky person. He is one of the most fun and down to earth people I have ever met, and the fact that he writes amazing books is a huge bonus. He loves his fans and goes above and beyond to interact and answer questions, even if its just a deviously cryptic response that leaves you with more questions than answers. His books leave me with a something not many authors have done, a want and love of reading.

A love of research
This series has introduced me to new places, new mythology and new characters from history. Its sent me to Google, numerous websites and even the library for countless hours in an effort to learn more about the elements from the books. I've tried and tried to get one step ahead of Michael Scott and figure out what could be coming next, but as those that have read the series know, that's impossible because he's always twenty steps ahead of his readers. For the true love of research for the series starts with him, and I've never in my life seen so many people, young and old, find a similar lust for research and fact finding that this series has brought about. 

A love of writing 
The first author I ever heard say "If you want to be a writer you have to be a reader first and foremost" was Michael Scott. He said out of the love of reading you will want to tell your own stories or in some cases think you can do better than the words on the page in front of you. At the time of hearing this I did not know how deeply this statement would affect me. In fact I never had aspirations to be a writer. But because of the Flamel series, I started reading, more than I'd ever read in my life. The more I read, the more ideas started to swirl in my head. And one day those ideas completely took over until before I knew it I was writing. Words became sentences, sentences became paragraphs , paragraphs became chapters and then finally a full on manuscript, and then the realization that I didn't want to stop at just one. I had to write more and more. And then a huge transition in my life, I started calling myself a writer.
So after years of following the Flamel story, a huge, enormous thank you Michael Scott for this amazing series and for bringing so many great people together. The words you've created have meant so much to so many people. Congrats on the release of the final book that has been years in the making. I'm looking forward to the next great adventure.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Tales of a Closet Pantser

If you've been reading this blog you know by now that I'm an engineer and a writer. And if you haven't been reading, why not? Because I'm an engineer, when I write I think very logically and plot through things as they are supposed to happen one thing leading into the next. So recently it has come as a complete shock to me that my current WIP, like a stubborn toddler, downright refuses to be plotted - a phenomenon we writers call pantsing (see it wasn't as dirty as you thought). No matter how much I try to plot my WIP, Orion, my devil muse (who I probably should have named Loki), has been throwing wrenches into my carefully plotted and logical outline. 

This act of throwing tools, sends me into a tailspin of back and forth between the voices in my head. Yes hearing voices is perfectly normal for a writer. I'm not crazy I swear! So starts the intern conflict....
If I change this, it will change the location of that event in my manuscript. Hmmm maybe that's better. But if I leave it as is then I have more tension here. Oooo that's good. BUT if I change it, then I have more tension throughout.... OOOO even better! The evil voices in my head laugh. Yes call me a sadist but I love torturing my main characters.

The problem with changing things though, is that the minute I do, I turn around and see that Orion has bested me by shoving me into a closet and leaving me with my pants around my ankles. CURSE YOU PANTSING! How could you be better than my tried and true carefully thought out and planned outline? How dare you ruin my perfectly fine method! It works or at least it worked until this WIP, that still doesn't have a detailed ending. What's with that Orion? You have some more tools to throw at me? BRING IT! 

Pantsing it is!

*runs off to write*

Note: I am not crazy. I SWEAR!