Tonight I started writing the manuscript (again). I hadn’t planned it, and I might not keep any of the words I wrote today, but I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress in just a few hours. I think I may have found out how I want to tell this story – third person perspective, present tense. I’ve been very certain about past tense up until now, but I do think present tense makes it more interesting. What I can safely say is that I haven’t made a decision about this yet, and there will be a lot more testing before I can do that. As usual writing is so much fun, and I’m completely in love with my characters. Going to nail this one day!
…that I haven’t abandoned blogging, though it obviously seems that way. I’m as busy as ever, and in my free time I read a lot of books, and that’s basically what I’m doing right now. I’m also working on the Wavesongs character sheets and it’s so much fun, it really is. I’ve known these characters for five years now and this past month I’ve learnt so many new things about them, about the plot, everything. I love plotting, but it’s also always been my weakness because I’m impatient, I just want to start writing the story, get on with it. This time it’s easier, I guess, because I’ve written this particular story already (with a bunch of differences, but still), and I’m at a point where I really want to explore all the aspects of it, and move slowly. I’m more careful with it this time, I know how easily stories can take a wrong turn and I honestly don’t wish to start over from scratch for a fourth time. Third time’s the charm, and all that.
I don’t know how many transformations Wavesongs has gone through by now. It started out as a silly little project I didn’t care much about, which was why I decided to use it as a sort of writing exercise – to see if I had it in me to finish a novel, if I was disciplined enough. As it turned out, discipline was not an issue.
But the finished story didn’t leave me alone – it was awful, every single aspect of it was, and I wanted to do better. I went at it again, from scratch, and wrote it a second time, this time as part of a planned trilogy. It did improve, quite a lot, and was almost published. But I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the story this time, either – it wasn’t right, and all the little changes I made here and there didn’t change that.
Then, I realised I had to start over completely. I hadn’t written what I really wanted to write – I had tried to evade the fact that the couple I wanted to end up together didn’t end up together, because of all sorts of complicated reasons, and how could I ever write a novel where I didn’t fully agree with what was actually happening? A reader will be able to tell if you don’t feel it. If you secretly wish your main character had taken a different path.
So I made radical changes to the story, and knew immediately that the third from-scratch draft would be much, much better than the one before (as it should be). But something was missing, and it wasn’t until I read The Miniaturist that I realised what it was. I’ve thought for so many years that I need to write quickly. Because there are so many ideas in my head, and what does it matter if the writing sucks because no one’s going to read it anyway and I should just aim to finally finish this novel and put it behind me, so I could start with the next one. But that’s not the way to go. I need to do my best with this, I need to take my time. Make this novel as good as I can possibly make it. Because it’s not really about what others think, in the end it’s all down to how I feel about it, what I want to convey. And the thing is this: I wish that I could write a novel that is beautiful, and also true. A novel that could make readers feel the same way about my main couple as I do. It’s a huge and daunting challenge, one I know that I’m probably not skilled enough to take on. But I have years and years to figure it out. I do.
Also: I may have decided to change the first name of my main character. Still surprised by this decision myself, actually, but it will be better this way.
I know, I’m really bad at updating. It’s really hard to find the time and I haven’t had anything to blog about either, since I haven’t worked on Wavesongs for a long time. But now I’m finally in the process of plotting the story, which has taken a lot of time since I felt the need to write short stories for a while and sort of write freely, without a deadline, without any plans or character limits. It’s been really good for me and I’ve had a lot of fun – I’ll keep writing short stories, of course, but not all the time because I do need to focus on my novel projects.
Wavesongs plotting is mostly difficult and frustrating right now, but it’s getting there, no matter how slowly. I didn’t think I’d need to change that much, but it will be a completely different story – and I’m happy about that. I’ll be able to make my otp happen for real, after all, and that makes me very happy. My hopes are also that I’ve learnt from my mistakes and will write a much better and more exciting story this time. We’ll see, but from the ideas I’ve had already I think it will be a really fun trilogy to write. Much more than before because it will be a lot less angsty.
I can’t make any promises about updating more often but I’ll try to come up with ideas for the blog as well, in between thinking about those pirates 😉
So, it’s a new year and I hope 2016 has been good to you all so far. Personally, I’m just happy about the snow we’re having right now, and try not to think too much about all the serious work-related things ahead. I’ve had a lovely time during the holidays and now I’m looking forward to getting back to my routines, which will probably take a few days.
Oh, and this big, writing-related thing happened (well, it happened in my head). I don’t really know where it came from, but I realised I have to rewrite Wavesongs so that Chris and the Captain actually end up together (which they don’t, in the current version). It just hit me that I’ve been writing a story where I have a very obvious favourite character, and a very obvious OTP, but I’ve made the story go in another direction and that’s just… not good. My reason has been that the Captain is so flawed that Chris shouldn’t get stuck in a relationship with him, because there were certain things the Captain did that were unforgivable and you shouldn’t be with someone who doesn’t respect you. But what if I change him? What if I make a few tweaks and sort of merge his and Dylan’s character’s together, into one, better man who will actually be lovable? I feel a little crazy for even considering this, because it will change the entire story, and what will become of Dylan? etc etc… But I know deep down that I need to do this, and that I should have done it ages ago, because no matter how hard I’ve been fighting it, this trilogy has always been about the Captain. And it just became odder and odder how Chris kept obsessing and sort of caring for him, long after they’d fallen out and he was happy together with Dylan and definitely shouldn’t think of someone else. But he did, and I did, and I very much look forward to playing God and making this story turn out just the way I want.
This also means that Wavesongs will fit much, much better into the romance genre. It probably seems like a weird decision to my beta readers, but knowing what will happen in books two and three, I feel confident that I’m doing the right thing. *gross sobbing at the thought of actually making OTP 100% real* In a strange and slightly masochistic way, I’m also looking forward to rewriting the book completely. I don’t know how many decades it will take for me to finish the entire trilogy but I can’t wait to get to those final chapters of book three!