Late, but done

Just like this blog post, huh? I haven’t done a good job of getting things up on Tuesdays lately, since my time has been consumed by a desire to get the first draft of Spectrum Blade done.

I finally did it last week–which means the book’s only seven months behind where I wanted it to be.

Every book I write teaches me something, and this one was no exception. For one, it taught me that trying to figure out when I’d get this book done was pretty much futile. It taught me that everything could change along the way, starting with my word count; when I planned this one out, it was to be 90k words, like the rest of the books planned for this series. Instead, it crawled in at just a hair under 125,000 words long, which makes me a little nervous, since that means I’ll have one tremendously fat paperback go first on the shelf, then the rest will be a whole 30-35k words slimmer, if they don’t end up growing. Or shrinking, which is always a possibility, too.

The most unique challenge this one brought up shouldn’t have come as a surprise, since it’s book number 19 for me, but during the course of writing, it strongly felt like at this point, I’m out of characters. Nobody felt unique anymore; as I worked through the book, the characters all felt like variations and blends of personality types I’ve written before. Which, I suppose that shouldn’t be surprising. Considering how many of my books have been fantasies with large casts, and this is another fantasy with a large cast, there’s really only so much you can do. I’m glad to say that issue did resolve itself somewhat as I went along and got to know the characters better.

What didn’t resolve as I wrote was the joy of all writers: going all the way through the story, having great amounts of fun writing most parts, but spending the entire time convinced I didn’t know what I was doing. The uncertainty of whether or not a story will come together never seems to get better, and though it really solidified nicely at the end, that lingering doubt of having done a good enough job remains. I’ve come to accept that’s just part of the experience, but it also makes me anxious to read what my beta readers have to say. I sent it out to most of my volunteers, and now I wait, which might be one of the hardest parts.

I’ve been working with my cover artist and while I’ve only got pose and color picked out so far, I’m already so excited for how it’s turning out and I expect it’ll be absolutely stunning when it’s done. I’ll be sending the first cover reveal out to my newsletter once the book’s sent for final editing, which should be toward the end of September.

This week, I’ll start refining the outline for book 2 into a usable format, but I probably won’t get a chance to start writing until November–just in time for NaNoWriMo, right? We’ll see if I end up participating this year. After the ride the first half of the year has been, I think I might just want to lay down for a bit.

More soon!

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