I’m finished. I finally finished the first draft of Sisters of String and Glass last Thursday, and it only took a little over a year and a little over 109,000 words. Right now, I’m trying to not think of all the things I left unexplained and the issues I need to go back and rework and the characters who probably need to be added in earlier as well as those pesky ones who took themselves in different directions. There’s a lot of work to be done, but that’s for later.
Looking back to an old Upcoming post from last March, I said Sisters was going to be longer than Queen of the Garden of Girls and I hoped to be done with it in about a year. It’s so much longer than Queen, and there were times when I wanted to cry because I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to get to the end. There were times I wanted to post here that, sorry, finishing it was just not going to happen. But, a little over a year later, I can proudly say I’ve finished that first draft.
It’s time to move on, though. The edits can wait. There’s another story that’s been percolating in my mind, competing for my attention while I madly tried to finish Sisters. Last year, I mentioned Rose (from Queen), having her own story. She definitely does, and it does still involve a dragon. But I also mentioned, earlier this year, that I really want to try for traditional publication and was debating between four different ideas. The story picked me, and has been bombarding me with plot lines and characters and an interesting setting for awhile now.
I’m switching out of fairy tale gear and into…well, I’m not sure. I just started to get an image of a beautiful, sparkly city like you’d see in a science fiction novel, but it was built using magic. I think the most challenging part of writing that story will be walking a balance beam during the world building. Fortunately, I do have an inspiration, and I’m excited because I kind of fell into it, but I also haven’t read many books drawing from this particular sort of inspiration.
So, it was the Yule one that picked me. It’s about two friends and Yule and a story that turns out to have more truth than fiction to it. Throw in a couple of goddesses and an angry and devastated Queen and a second half of the world that no one knows exists and, well, I guess I’m kind of curious about where it’s all going.
Right now, I’m in the planning and research phase. I have a feeling my search history will be very interesting. There are a few things up in the air that are refusing to settle down for me, but I really like the history I’ve given to this world. Figuring out where to begin with sketching this story out has had me wandering down a few avenues, but backtracking and developing the history has been a great help. Every world and every story has to have a backstory to work from! At least, that’s my opinion.
I’ve known for years that reviewing books would be a huge help. Not only would it help me figure out what I love and hate in books, but also in terms for a do and don’t do list for writing. There have been both indie and traditionally published books that really wowed me and others in both that really disappointed me. But the one thing I’ve learned to appreciate is depth, especially in terms of the world. It’s great to have an incredible and amazing world, but I’ve grown to dislike the worlds that just exist for the sake of the story. There’s no history, no backstory to anything, no depth. It just is, and it just leaves me wanting. If I hate that, I’m not going to do that. I’m really looking forward to fleshing out the story of my world and how it came to be what it is.
And then there are the characters who will be moving in the world, who are products of that history with minds of their own. I have ideas for their story lines, but not all of it is concrete yet. My two main ones are crisp and clear in my head, though, and I can’t wait to use who they are to craft appropriate stories. Because characters who behave outside of their characterizations are a huge no-no to me. I must understand why characters do what they do, not behave a certain way because the story demands it.
Anyways, that’s where I’ll be: exploring and planning and hopefully diving into the writing in April. I won’t be posting it, but I’ll share things about it.