Monday, January 4, 2010

It's a New Year!

It's a new year and I still haven't finished writing the sequel to Out of the Darkness. Ordinarily, I'd be really depressed about that but since I spent some of my writing time editing a historical manuscript set to be released from The Wild Rose Press sometime this year, I guess I can't complain. Slightly Tarnished is going to be an English Tea release and I can't wait to hold the hard copy in my hand!
Still, I thought I would have finished writing Into the Light, the sequel to Out of the Darkness by now.

I started researching and writing Into the Light, the day I signed the contract for Out of the Darkness...way back on Mother's Day 2009. A year later in May 2010, Out of the Darkness was published. So, why in that year's time hadn't I completed the sequel?

The sad truth is I sometimes prefer research and editing to writing. There's this sort of fear factor thing with me. I love the research. I love coming up with stories in my head. But I absolutely despise writing that first draft. It's like all the words come rushing at me all at the same time and I fear that when I try to get them on paper, I'll screw up. So, then I try to write without an outline. And that's when the problems arise.

In my first draft of Into the Light, I made it to chapter 7 before realizing the premise wouldn't work. And I had written myself into a corner. The heroine wasn't going to work. It took me awhile to realize that some people just don't belong together. So, I had to change the entire plot and add new characters I had no intention of adding. I actually wrote an outline draft of the story!

And as I started to write, the first twelve chapters came pouring out. But then things started to slow down. My characters wouldn't stick to the script or the plot! They started taking on lives of their own.

I let them have their way for a while, but then I realized I had a lot of sub plots I'd have to tie together at the end. Could I do it? Was the story too plot heavy? Had I added too many secondary characters.

And now, those old writing fears have surfaced once again.

So, I went back to my plot. And changed some things to fit the new direction my characters had taken me. And I started researching again. Getting a feel for the new plot line. And once again, things are starting to flow. And I can hardly wait to get to the editing phase.

So, my New Year's resolution is to finish writing Into the Light. And if it is possible to resolve oneself to liking something more, then I resolve to like writing that first draft better than I do now. After all, I can't edit and bring my characters alive without that first draft.

Here's to hoping 2011 is a wonderful writing year and that I finish not only Into the Light, but the sequel to Slightly Tarnished. I'd also like to start a third book in my vampire saga  but maybe that's a bit too much for me in one year. But I can dream!

What are some of your resolutions and how do you propose to keep them?

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