Sunday, December 9, 2018

After the First Draft

Excitedly, I typed "THE END" just after midnight on December 1. The first draft of the book I had started writing in December 2017 was complete.

I love writing. It's the way I communicate best. Ask my husband. I don't talk about my feelings. I cry at books, TV shows, and movies, but I rarely express my emotions about real life. It's like I'm part Vulcan and have disciplined myself to follow logic rather than emotion. I want to say how I feel out loud, but I run into an impassable barrier each time. My mouth opens, but no words come out.

Writing is different for me. I still hold myself to a rather formal tone—except when my characters are screaming at me to write them differently—which highlights my logical mind, but I get IT out there. Outside of my own mind where I can analyze my words and figure out what is what.

In that regard, my writing is deeply personal. If I've told you I've written a book, I've overcome the compulsion to hide away which is nothing short of a miracle. Talk about your book promotion conundrum. But this post is not about book promotion. I wanted to write—after two blog-less weeks—about writing A Wizard's Choice.

I introduced my character Kuris Warde to my readers in A Vampire's Tale and realized he had a story that I needed to tell. His entire life was about duty and responsibility and—ironically—the only choice he was given—whether or not to become a wizard—was no choice at all. Rejecting the brethren of wizards would disappoint his grandfather Waldor Warde, the man who raised him. Accepting them would sentence him to a life of unhappiness. As I delved deeper into Kurtis' story, other characters spoke to me. I saw how their history impacted Kurtis, and I began to write side stories about Kurtis' family members. Waldor's words "You must understand where we came from to know where we are going." ran especially true for Kurtis who never knew his parents. He needed to know his history before making a choice about his future.

Participating in National Novel Writing Month (nanowrimo) was an experience. I wrote more this November than I ever have before. It was hard, and I got sick (and sometimes sicker), and there were several days that I couldn't write anything at all, but I finished my first draft. It was exhausting, truly emotionally draining, hence the radio silence during the first week in December. Next steps? Really fleshing out my plot, developing my characters, and making this my best book yet!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Uh-oh I'm Stuck

I hit the 30K mark this week. I haven't written everyday—funny how life gets in the way of my good intentions—but I'm churning out a solid 700 word daily average which is phenomenal for me.

So... I'm about 50% through the book, and my main character (MC) has made a major life change, found and lost a love interest, discovered something important from his past, and crossed the line with an acquaintance (who may become more). What's next?

Okay, this is the part of the writing process when I've caught up to my ideas, and I don't know what else to write. For now. I've worked through the "everything sucks" stage and persisted through the "when am I ever going to finish this" stage... It's not exactly writer's block, but I'm stuck here.

Focus on the big picture...

In the rest of my story, I want my MC to experience: self-discovery resulting in a definitive conclusion; conflict between love interests; and resolution with his family and old feuds (wizards versus fairies).

1. Self-discovery: MC decided he doesn't want to work in the family business (wizardry). Does his choice mean he has to leave his family now? When so much of his identity is tied up with family, who is he apart from his family? What does he want to do with the rest of his life?

2. Love interest conflict: No love triangles for me. Kind of. But love interest #1, who rejected MC, is jealous of love interest #2 and stirs the pot on an old family feud. The feud impacts his grandfather, his parents, and love interest #2. MC is torn between the different parties. It's not a matter of the MC choosing between love interests... more like keeping one safe from the other.

3. Resolution with family and old feuds: Family—MC becomes reunited with his parents. Why did his parents abandon him? To protect him from the feud between their families. Feud—MC is the child of both sides (wizard and fairy). His very existence helps to heal old wounds. But how? Both sides need to come together for a purpose? Cure for sick family member? Father returns home because Grandfather is ill? Father seeks out Mother for a healing?

How does it all end?

Happily-ever-after. What else did you expect from me? I just need to add a little bit of this and a bit of that to get from where I am to where I need to be... the HEA before THE END.