I've been hard at work for the past couple of weeks, writing to a self-imposed regime of about 4,000 words per day in order to complete the first draft of my next novel. This is an entirely new work, based upon a high-concept idea I came up with during the summer that I really felt strongly about. Sometimes, as an author, I get really excited about a new plot and start tearing along for days as ideas and storylines rush out almost as fast as I can write them down. This burst of creativity is then followed by a few weeks of developing the plot details and adding depth to the story before actually sitting down and writing it.
With the Ethan Warner series, I used to plot almost every single possible detail before writing, but I changed that approach with EDEN in order to let the characters develop more. The new approach worked well, and with the new WIP I've done something in-between, plotting about 50% of the story using key points and scenes that I knew I wanted to see, and then letting the characters kind of build themselves as the story went along.
This approach has produced some great characters who have come alive as I've written the draft, but they have changed over the course of the story in their motives etc as their characters have developed, so now I've got to go through the first structural edit and make sure that those characters become a little more consistent in their story journey, along with all the other essential plot lines being ironed out and polished. In general I'm really very happy with my new method, as it allows new ideas to pop up throughout the story, often changing it ways I hadn't imagined before writing it.
In other news, EDEN remains high in the UK Amazon Kindle chart ( in the 300s ) and in the USA chart ( 1,100 ish ), and is selling anything between 130 and 200 copies per day. I did some minor further advertising in the USA, but all in all the book seems to be selling itself without any further input from me. Given its high star-rating, especially in the UK, I'm assuming that the good sales are based on the book's merits alone - gaining sales traction as its reputation gets better as a "good read". I'm keeping an eye on it and also plotting the sequel, EDEN: REDEMPTION, which I'll publish sometime early in 2014, as for now I'm focusing on my two current WIPs.
More news as it comes in, and I'll post cover-art for the new high-concept novel soon if it becomes a self-published work instead of traditionally published.