Along with hundreds of writers all over the world, I began a new novel earlier this month.
When I chose to write a high fantasy this November, I expected it to be difficult. Self-doubt crept up; I almost chose to work on a series I’m already writing, because the setting would be familiar. High fantasy seemed a daunting challenge; I feared I hadn’t read enough of it to write my own.
Ten days later, I had written the fifty thousands words; the story breathed itself to life. I feel like the characters dictated their journeys, for they use their own voices. Every time I sit down for a writing session, I feel that I’m living a second life.
This month I remembered how it feels to write a new book, exploring new territory. Being a pantser most of the time, I wander without a map. 50k spilled out in ten days because my writing muscle had been neglected for too long.
Since January, I have been editing a book to publish next year; how refreshing it is to be in an unfamiliar world, where I can get lost and make up my own rules.
Things turned interesting when I decided to share snippets of my story on Instagram. I did it because I wanted to try something different; everyone clings to quotes about writing by dead authors, such as that about moonlight on broken glass.
Since it is my Instagram, I thought it would make the scene more personal if the words shared were mine. I wasn’t expecting so many people to enjoy the snippets; I’ve had offers to beta read when the project is done. Knowing that people look forward to the novel as I write it–oh, it keeps me motivated!
The working title for this novel is The Swan, but it is liable to change by the time the book is done.
Having reached the word count goal, I’ve decided to keep writing. I won’t rush it, though. I want to reach a satisfactory ending, since I don’t plan to make it a series; it’s going to be a stand-alone novel, a very long one. When it is on paper, whether traditional or self-published, the weight of those words will bring me joy.
This might be my one great work, or the beginning of many; I only know that the writing process has been a source of joy. It has helped me cope with dark moments as we enter a season plagued by grief.
When I read my draft, I can hardly believe that I wrote it. It’s brilliant, compared to my first books. One day, I hope you will be able to meet the Princesses Tressa and Roisin; they have become two very different sides of me.