Letters of Mass Construction

Posted in Keepers

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

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