Quote: You put me through a woodchipper. twice!

For a young man stuck in a rut, dying was just what he needed to bring
some excitement back into his life. Whether he wanted it or not.

The Afterlife Occurrence is an urban fantasy novel set in an alternate version of our world. It tells the story of Adrian, a young man content with living a normal, ordinary life. Then he got hit by a bus and died. It was a big mess. His life got kind of interesting after that though.

“You put me through a wood chipper. Twice!”

The sentence that started it all. I had no plot, no characters, no idea what this story was all about. I just had that sentence. From there a whole new world emerged, and I got to meet some rather, let’s go with interesting, characters.

Working out the plot

I started plotting for this book at the beginning of 2012, and when November came along I decided to use NaNoWriMo as a way to get started on it. And it helped me score my third consecutive NaNo-victory. Woot!

I finished the first draft of this in November 2013, the third in November 2016, and the second sometime in between. I shipped the book off to a test reader in 2017 and got some great feedback. A fourth revision was then completed in early 2018, and I had it sent out to two more test readers. Since then, a lot has happened, and I’m kind of stuck. More on that later though.

The good thing is, I have the plot of the first book down. I didn’t have to cut too much Nano padding – so crap –  from the first draft, and where it stands right now I don’t think there are many gaping plot holes. Events occur in the order they are supposed to, which honestly isn’t always the case, so yay for that! There is one section that needs another complete rewrite, mostly because right now it’s just too damn confusing. So I need to make it less so.

And then there is the sequel. Because there had to be one. There was always supposed to be one really, though it’s not really going according to plan with that one.

Did someone say revolution?

The sequel in question – currently titled something that may or may not be a bit spoilerish, and therefore only referred to as TAO: The Sequel – is about halfway finished. Except, it’s on hold until I figure out what to do with the goddamned revolution that came out of nowhere. Cause my plot, the one in my head, does not involve a revolution. Or anything that resembles a revolution.

I guess that is the risk of writing first drafts during NaNoWriMo. Sometimes, things happen to make words, well, happen. And sometimes, those things then refuse to go away once November is over. One of those things is the revolution from hell. Which has no place in my story! And needs to die a very quick death. As soon as my brain agrees with me.

Edited in September 2017 to add: OK, so the revolution may be back on. Sometimes I hate my brain!
Addendum January 2020 – it’s still on. Damn it!

The future

My hope is to one day get this book published. The traditional way that is. I’ve nothing against self-publishing (hey, I can now say been there, done that!), but right now I just don’t feel like that’s for me when it comes to TAO. Maybe it’s because I want to see if I’ve got what it takes. Or I’m a glutton for punishment. Or both. Probably both.

After I struggled with both my mental and physical health in 2018, I’ve had to put this on the backburner for a bit. My brain is too caught up in other projects, and there are some things I need to work out with TAO that is keeping me from moving forward. Until I get that sorted, I won’t get through another revision. My goal for 2020 is to get past whatever is holding me back on this one, and get started in the next revision. Because I am close to the finish line, I can feel it, I just need to actually get there.