Good morning everyone!
I’m writing this post while listening to Conquest by White Stripes, the musical genius of the day.
So I’m finished one novel now. I mean I’m really finished. I’ve gone through about twenty Beta Readers, read it over twenty times myself from front to back, I’ve rewritten it twice now, changed the beginning to give it more oomph and now I’m into the second book in the series.
Some people say second books are hard. I laugh at them because once I had the first book right, the second book wasn’t hard to figure out. Continue the story, tell the readers what happens next, introduce new characters, take those unexplored conflicts and expand them, put your characters through hell, and fight.
I wrote the second book with a ton more information and writing practice under my belt. I did it without falling into those writer traps, the ones my Beta Readers warned me about. I did it in almost one sitting, 78,000 words in a month is nothing to gawk at. The first 40,000 took 2 months, it equals another finished book. And it’s good. I find myself reading it and pinching myself thinking did I write this? Did I write this?
And then I get to tell myself, yes I did, I did it.
That might be the best feeling in the world for a writer, but I’ve also been looking at the first book and thinking that I don’t have an agent for it. I need to redo my query letter which is making me want to vomit. I need to go through my lists and find an agent that might be interested in my work. I need to go through that entire process all over again.
And the thing is, I’m not ready to go there again.
Part of that reason is that I’m being told a lot of different things. On the one hand agents are saying that people need to write awesome books. In my opinion I’ve done that, but it doesn’t mean an agent or agency is going to agree with me. On the other hand I’m being told to just believe in my work enough to hire an editor, a publicist and to go out on my own. I’m never going to do that. I don’t mind having a psychic development book on CreateSpace, that book is for a specified target audience, it’s not exactly high concept. What I don’t want to do is take the book I’ve worked on for six years and throw it to the nearest small publishing house and watch it tank.
There’s something about writing against the grain that keeps me confident that one way or another I’ll succeed with my goals. My book isn’t like the other fantasy, paranormal romance books on the shelves. I didn’t start this journey thinking I’m going to write another high fantasy novel with interesting characters, or another vampire, werewolf, faerie, or demon hunter book. Instead I wrote about the ferryman and the flame.
The challenges have come in explaining these two character types with the least amount of words because the imagery isn’t clear. It’s easy to get an idea in your head of a vampire, angel, faery, werewolf, but let’s be honest, when you think of a ferryman, what image comes to mind? How about a flame?
That’s where I get crafty and explain that the ferryman is a teenager, he isn’t the macabre image of tattered rags and bony hands that we’re used to. Similarly, the flame isn’t a literal embodiment of fire, it’s a weapon hidden in the body of a teenage girl.
My objective with this novel has always been to bring the obscurity of their story to the main stage. It’s true that nobody knows who the flames or ferrymen are, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a story to tell. And when I’m ready I’ll find someone who’s willing to listen to their story and give it the platform it deserves.
I’m just not ready to go there yet.