I just wrote the final scenes for Wavesongs #3, the last book in the series. I’ve never finished a first draft this quickly before (3,5 weeks – Astray and Forlorn took 6 weeks each), and even though the manuscript is extremely messy at this point and there are a lot of new scenes that need to be added in, I’m just so pleased with it. Because I did it, I finished this story no matter how many times I’ve been close to giving up over the years.
Book #2, Forlorn, will be out in March and is currently with the copy editor. So I’ll soon be busy getting that one ready for publishing, before I can focus entirely on book #3 again. Hopefully it won’t be too long before I can set a release date for it. I’m really looking forward to the day when I have all three books in my bookshelf at home, next to Entertaining the Sombrevilles.
Right now I’m still an emotional wreck over the book and the final scenes and those characters that I love so much. Before I’ve reached a milestone in my writing I always think of how I’ll celebrate when I’m finally there, but it seems I just have a cry instead and then start working on something else. I guess I’m just not good at celebrating.
I’m currently working on the last edits for Wavesongs 2, Forlorn, which will be out in March. My plan was to finish that and then start writing the third book on November 1, since I’m doing it for NaNoWriMo, but… I wrote the first few pages today. I’ve missed that lovely first draft phase so much (my favourite part of writing), and I had an idea that I wanted to try out and see if it worked.
And it’s so good to be back. Technically I spend most of my free time in this verse because of all the editing, but now I finally get to continue the story. There are so many scenes that I look forward to, that I have looked forward to for a long time, and it’s strange to think that I might be writing them in just a few weeks. NaNoWriMo is brilliant because it forces me to put everything else aside and focus, and I grow more and more motivated when I see how quickly that word count goes up each day.
Not that it will be a piece of cake, though. I know I will struggle just as hard with this book as I have with the previous ones. This time it’s not just about finishing a novel, either, but wrapping up an entire series.
November will be interesting.
This weekend I finished another round of revising, and sent the manuscript to the editor. It’s such a relief to have come this far! The manuscript is definitely getting better and better, though I’m starting to become really anxious about it turning into an actual book in a few months. A book people could actually read and have opinions about. Why do authors do this to themselves? There are so many conflicting feelings right now, and always. I was nervous about publishing Entertaining the Sombrevilles as well, of course, but this is on another level. At the same time I’m so excited about the book being out there soon. I keep visualizing a few copies of it on my bookshelf, and it’s a lovely image.
For the next few weeks I’ll be busy with research for book #2, until I get feedback from the editor. I have lots and lots of BBC documentaries to watch as part of the research – life could be much worse. I very much recommend A Very British Romance with Lucy Worsley!
… and what a year it’s been. Lots of bad things happening in the world, but for me personally 2017 has been a really good year. I got my very first novel published – yay! And on top of that I wrote the first drafts of two other novels, one of which will be published this spring. 2017 was the year when I finally became an author for real, after spending years and years struggling and angsting and trying to find out what I wanted to do, creatively speaking.
I’ve always thought that authors exaggerated when they talked about spending 5+ years on a novel or writing several versions of a story, hundreds of thousands of words that they didn’t even use in the end. And if I’d known, back in 2014 when I thought I had written a finished novel, that I’d end up scrapping all of it and starting over… I would have gone crazy. It just takes so, so much effort to finish a project like this, and I needed all those years and all those words. To practice, to find out what I wanted to do.
Just a few years ago, I didn’t think I was able to write novel-length stories. I could do short stories, but that was it. Editing was a mystery to me, and research as well. I still love writing short stories, but I’ve come to realize that novels are even better. I don’t know if I’ll be able to get through another first draft in 2018, or if I’ll have to focus on editing only, but I do hope it won’t be too long until I can start working on my next novel. Because there’s nothing better than the intense experience of writing a story for the very first time.
I’ll be finishing my current round of editing today, hopefully—after that, I’ll take a break from writing until January, and spend time with family, books and movies instead. Unless I write that Christmas short story that I can’t get out of my head…
Happy Holidays to everyone!
Right now, it seems that I’ll reach my goal of finishing this first draft before Christmas. I’m at 58K and I hope I can reach 70 before the week is over.
Writing this fast is such a crazy but wonderful thing. I love feeling like the project has an end, and it’s coming quite soon – working on something for too long makes me restless. This weekend I did nothing but write for three days straight and it was amazing, just being so completely wrapped in that world. I wish I could have more weekends like that.