I remember it was late July–the 22, maybe–of 2006, and I was staying at the house of my step-aunt. In a guest room with my sister, who took the trundle-bed. I was lying in my bed trying to get to sleep.
That’s where I was when the block that had been keeping me from starting my second novel, “The Crimson League,” vanished. I figured out who my protagonist was. What her name and background were. I’d had it all wrong before. ALL wrong.
The next day I started writing. No outline. No thoughts concerning any kind of trilogy. Just writing.
Seven years later, and I’ve finished my last edit, pen and paper, of the book that ends the trilogy that “The Crimson League” began. I’ve made the changes to the doc on the computer. I’ve written the dedication and acknowledgments and updated the character list. Even added a description of the three kingdoms the novel brings into play.
All that’s left is to order a new proof copy of the book, not to edit-edit, but to proofread. It’s truly… well, I’ll let the gals from FRIENDS describe it.
That’s really how I feel. It’s so, so utterly bittersweet. Honestly, the only way I can describe what I’m feeling–that it’s time to tell my characters goodbye now, like it or not–is to compare the emotions to high school graduation. And these characters have been with me for SOOOO long! Nearly twice as long as the four years high school lasts.
It’s unbelievable to me that my Herezoth novels turned into such a significant part of my life. I wrote a fourth one for NaNoWriMo last year, but it’s kind of separate, and it needs a followup that I don’t know is possible to write. I might just call that novel a wash. And if I do, I don’t know what I’ll go on to write next.
ALL ABOUT THE ADVENTURE
There are SOOO many possibilities! I could stick with Herezoth and do something totally different from what I have. Or I could go more science-fiction than fantasy. Or I could do something totally and completely different. Something, you know, contemporary. Set in the real world. In Louisiana (where I’m from) or Alabama (where I went to college.) Maybe the next project will end up inspiring me for another seven years. Who knows????
I guess I’m trying to focus on the adventures to come rather than the sadness of the doors that are closing. After all, the adventure is my favorite part of writing, as I’ve said before.
That’s why I write as a “pantser” (by the seat of my pants). I love the adventure of discovering what’ll happen next, of figuring out step by step where my characters are going and what’s going to happen to them. And even though I struggle with confidence issues sometimes, I have to think the future looks pretty promising.
- I’m getting more and more traffic by the month to the blog here, and I cannot WAIT to do more things with the site: get more guest posts up, start accepting ads, and I’ve even started outlining a writer’s handbook I want to write based on my blog posts. I hope to collect them, polish them, and add to them, and have an ebook and paperback available as soon as possible.
- I’m so stoked about the new Herezoth covers designed by Brad Covey, and the upcoming promo for “The Crimson League” I’ll be running April 22-24. I think the cover might really help the novel stand out. Also, I’ll be featured on FreeBooksy big time for the promo, and that also makes me hopeful for lots of downloads.
- I’m bound and determined to get an agent, though I have lots of other stuff to get settled before I can start seeking one again.
- Even if two of them never get published (one won’t for sure), I have five novels to my name. That’s some solid experience to draw upon as I move on in my fiction career, whether I stay with Herezoth or not.
So there it is. The end of an era. The beginning of great things. I guess for the moment–until I get my writer’s handbook together–I’ll just sit back, wait for inspiration to strike where a new fiction project is concerned, and enjoy the ride!