I post on Mondays, but here’s my blogging secret: I actually write my posts over the weekend. I usually have more time on the weekends and I really don’t like to use up my allotted novel-writing time during the week for blogging, so it makes sense. This weekend, however, was a little different thanks to our delightful Mother’s Day plans (including several visits with my brother and sister-in-law, who’ve been in town for the week). As a result I only had time to throw together a little post, and I already know I won’t be posting next week for reasons I’ll share in due time, so…enjoy this one while it lasts 😉
I’ve gotten several questions recently about the status of my upcoming novel, Lionhearted (you can read the synopsis here). I started writing it in October 2016, wrote “The End” in October 2017, and began editing it/composing the second draft in January. My first draft clocked in at a whopping 150,491 words–way too long–but as of mid-May I’ve whittled it down to 138,465 words–and I still have twelve more chapters to go. I’m well on my way to a manageable second draft!
When will I finish this second draft? I hope to be finished by the end of summer. Ambitious much? Maybe. Lionhearted has thirty chapters and I’ve already edited eighteen of them in four months, so it’s possible. At least I’ve got a goal. I’ve even picked out a nice little reward for myself, too: as soon as I cross the finish line, I will buy myself a Twelfth Doctor FunkoPOP. As you can see, I’m not hard to please and very easy to motivate.
What happens after I finish editing? I’ll send the finished product to a few trusted friends and family who’ve offered to read it for me. I’ll edit and tweak according to their suggestions…and then I’ll start the publishing process.
CALLING ALL PUBLISHED AUTHORS IN MY AUDIENCE!! If you have published a novel, please let me know in the comments section how you did it. Did you go the traditional publishing route, or did you self-publish, or turn your novel into an e-book? Again, I’m not ready to publish yet but I’m definitely starting to think along those lines and would love your input.
What happens after I publish Lionhearted? I have an idea for a “companion story,” Dragonslayer–not a sequel, since Lindy Tremaine wouldn’t be the main character, but another novel set in the same fictional universe I invented for Lionhearted. It would combine some of the elements of my NaNoWriMo project, The Queen in Cranford, with a worrisome new problem for the Kellan Star System that, hopefully, will resonate with modern audiences. But it’d be a family story, too, revolving around four sisters! I’m really excited about utilizing my own experience as a sibling and throwing these tight-knit girls into a political drama/mystery.
Unfortunately, because I’ve been spending a lot of time in Editor Mode I’ve been left questioning every single turn of phrase any time I try to write something original. Starting a brand-new novel while still editing a very long and very complex one probably isn’t the best way to boost my self-confidence. I’ll continue plot and ponder Dragonslayer, but I won’t start writing it until I finish Lionhearted.
So are you writing anything else, or just editing? For a month or so I was in a creative drought, but then Doctor Who Series 9 happened to me and I got my first fanfic idea in a loooooong time. And then Avengers: Infinity War also happened and I got an extra shot of inspiration (not for a crossover fic, but some of the plot points in Infinity War helped me develop my idea). So I’m working on that in my free time. Here-a-little-there-a-little, word-upon-word, sentence-upon-sentence.
The awesome thing about fanfiction as a form of creative self-care is that somebody else has already done most of the work for you. The characters are already developed and most of the world-building is already established. All you have to do is throw characters you know and love into whatever crazy situation you desire. And in my particular case I can say to myself, “You’ve edited for almost two hours now, it’s okay to give your brain a break–and hey look, you can still write! You can even write sassy Time Lords. No small accomplishment there. Pat yo’self on the back, girlfriend.”
And that, my friends, is the writing update: slow and steady progress with my novel, ideas for a future novel taking shape in the back of my head, and a Clara/Doctor/Missy/Ashildr team-up tale to keep my imagination from getting rusty.
But now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to run. Lionhearted is calling!