Sometimes You Have To Let It Go

Dave mckean coil

Hello, my lovely blog followers. Starting today and every Saturday until I finish the damn thing I shall be updating you on the trials and tribulations of my new novel Keepers. The first thing I need to tell you is that Keepers is only the public working title. It isn’t what I titled the book. I am not sure I like my current title and may change it at a future date. So I chose Keepers as my place holder.

It has been a long journey to get to this book. I wrote 2 novels in just over a year a few years back. They were books one and two of a trilogy. I sent out book one to a lot of people and got some nice rejections but no bites. I am still sending it out but getting published is not about writing one novel it is about writing many. About practice and getting better.

I knew I needed to write another novel that was not part of a series. A stand alone and over a year ago I did. It was a YA steampunk book. I loved the characters and thought the setting I had written was interesting. The problem is the story just wasn’t flowing. The plot seemed to be meandering. I rewrote and reordered and tried to plot a course. After one year I had cranked out 50,000 words but was not happy with it. I kept telling myself I would fix it in rewrites. This would get me going for a few thousand words and then I would stall again.

I was starting to grow frustrated. The problem here is my history of writing. For most of my life I started and stopped a lot of novels. I went through a decade with only one completed novel. I never finished anything. Then I stopped writing. Then I started again. In my new life as a writer I have been prolific. Between blogs and my two completed novels I felt like I had turned a corner in my life. Shaken out all the self doubt (well almost all) and was producing art. Writing for sake of writing and not publication.

When I grounded to a halt over the steampunk book I begun to panic. Maybe the two completed novels were a fluke. Maybe I was reverting back to what I used to be like. Lots of starting but very little finishing. In the meantime, I had interesting ideas that I wasn’t writing on. Waiting to force my way through the steampunk book. About three weeks ago I said enough and I put the novel aside. I started outlining, writing notes, and working through plot points for a new novel. I started thinking about characters.

Suddenly, the characters started speaking to me. Whole chunks of dialog started materializing in my head. A plot began to form. A story began to grow. I couldn’t stop thinking about the story. I would to go bed thinking about it. I would take showers working through the story. This went on for a few weeks but I knew I wasn’t ready to start. This last Sunday I sat down and began to scribble out some notes. I had a good feeling I knew what the story was going to be. I felt like I was ready to start.

Monday night I sat down at the computer and began to type. I wrote the first line and went away. Completely gone and immersed in the story. I always like to stop in the middle of a scene. I have always found it helps me pick it right back up the next day. I had to force myself to stop. As I finished up the first chapter most of the second chapter had already sprung to life in my brain. So here I sit today. I have met my word count goal easily everyday. I am on chapter four and know exactly how the book is going to end. I will now be writing towards the ending.

None of this happened on my last book. The whole damn thing was a struggle. I never had a moment where I felt like the story was working or going somewhere. I fell in love with the characters and I hope someday I will find a place for them but that novel wasn’t it. My own fear of quitting made me stay with it for way too long. I wrote more this week than the previous three months combined. I learned a valuable lesson as an amateur writer. Sometimes you have to let it go.

So welcome to my first adult novel. My previous three were for a YA audience. This lovely beast will be a hybrid of a fantasy and mystery. Set in a fantasy world of my creation it is at its heart a mystery. There will be drugs, murder, politics, magic, darkness and humor. My plan is for about a 90,000 to 100,00 word book. I am feeling it right now. If I was going to be taking my best guess I think completion will happen sometime around June. I know this book will be done because unlike the last one I know where I need to lead the story. Now I shall let the words lead me to the end. I am sure there will be lots of surprises on the way.

——

Art by Dave McKean

About csdaley

C.S. Daley was born in California but has spent most of his life in his imagination. His first short story written in third grade, the now classic "Close Encounters of the Turd Kind," was sold to his next door neighbor for a quarter. The neighbor promptly demanded a refund. An unhealthy obsession with the writings of Neil Gaiman, Christopher Moore, and Terry Pratchett have left his mind warped and broken. He spends most of his evening swilling down coffee while tapping at a keyboard under the watchful eyes of his kittens. They are there to make sure he doesn't snap. He likes to write fantasy for adults and teens.

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