Monday, 6 September 2010
THE BEST LAID PLANS...
Ah, how foolish we are, both mice and men...
Loyal blog readers may remember my Superspecialawesome Plan about how I was going to turn the sequel to Daughter of the Flames (tentatively titled FrostFire) into two books and make it all the Sacred Flame Trilogy or something like that?
Superspecialawesome Plan = fail. My lovely, lovely editor emailed me today to tell me (in the kindest possible way, with lots of praise to cushion the blow) that the first book of this proposed two book series just doesn't work on its own. She said it felt like everything was underdeveloped, that I was holding all the good stuff back for the second book. Which is fair enough: I was.
There are some authors who just naturally seem to think in trilogies and series, who can take one story and split it into multiple volumes effortlessly, creating in each book a satisfying plot-arc and developing their characters just enough, yet leaving further questions to be answered in the next installment.
I am not one of them.
In fact, I am in awe of those guys. How do they do it? Everytime I try, the whole thing goes wrong. It seems I am Standalone Only.
So, the final, absolutely-MUST-deliver-by-this-date deadline on this book is the end of December, leaving me fifteen weeks (I can't count the first week of October, I'm doing day-long school workshops the whole week and the following monday too) to revise the first half of the manuscript according to my editor's suggestions, write the second half, put them together, put the ms away to mature for at least a week, and then revise them as a whole.
My schedule until Christmas looks a tad cramped.
I'm sure I'll live. Absolutely. Ha ha. Ha.
I just have to keep reminding myself: no matter what, it's better than my old job.
Anyway, this is all just a symptom of something I often tell readers who email me asking me How To Write A Book. Which is: No one knows. Seriously, you never figure it out. Most of the time you don't even know how to write the book you're writing, let alone the one coming next. You make it up as you go along, God help you.
For those of you who were looking for more constructive advice, I refer you to Patricia C Wrede. She always says it all better anyway.