The first draft is finished at 194,000 words. God, in his wisdom, had me write a natural place halfway through the story to divide it into two books. The first book is now out to beta readers while I do an edit on the second book.
In the meantime, ideas for book three keep exploding. I jot them down in a file in Scrivener where they wait—not always patiently—for me to turn to them. The characters are anxious to tell their stories. Sometimes they slip out when I’m sleeping and whisper what adventures they’re getting ready to take me on.
What have I learned as I’ve explored this new ground?
One is to trust myself to write the story, to trust in the gift God has given me. As I passed the 160,000 word mark, I finished reading the second book in Jane Lindskold’s Firekeeper Saga. I slipped into the comparison trap and asked myself whatever made me think I could write speculative fiction. My Solitary Scribes critique group soon snapped me out of that funk and the book is finished.
I also learned to write children characters. One of my main characters assumes the role of fathering twins. The challenge for me as the author: create two ten-year olds, a boy and a girl; make them believable, especially in dialogue and behavior. My own youngest child is thirty-two. Twenty something years ago is lost in the blur of life. Fortunately, I’m blessed with critique partners who have children that age. They point me in the right direction and keep me on track.
For me, writing organically for the first time, I’ve discovered that not every rabbit trail is a dead end. It will either weave its way back into the story or it will provide fodder for other scenes and plot twists. The time spent and the story line explored are not wasted. This too is an aspect of trust. This is trusting my characters and the story.
Have you tried new things in your writing? What have you learned about yourself, about the craft?