In an effort to maintain accountability, I thought I’d pop in and put up some notes on where Book 6 is and what’s happening.
So, way back in, like, 2018? 2017? IDEK anymore, I had written a large chunk and book 6 was sitting at about 48000 words. And then, I didn’t know where it was going or how to get where I wanted it to go. I had my high-level plot point, but didn’t quite know how to get there.
As an example, for book 5, I knew there would be a forest fire and Jade would battle it and SOMETHING would happen where she would be in over her head and she’d have to have THIS MOMENT OF TRUST AND SURRENDER with Paris.
And that’s usually how deep into WHAT WILL HAPPEN that I know for my books. I usually have a high-level idea of what I want to have happen, and then how I get there (or rather, how Jade gets there) is as much of a mystery to me as anyone!
so, I had my beginning clearly written – 48000 words, which isn’t anything to sneeze at.
But then… like my brain gets in the way sometimes. Do you have those moments? where things are okay but then your brain is like OH HEY, LET ME HELP YOU and you’re like no, no Brain, I got this, no help needed, and Brain is like NO REALLY LET ME HELP. I AM A GOOD HELPER. But then Brain busts in and is not, in fact, a good helper. At all.
What do I mean by this? Well, I have always read books/articles/whatever on writing as I do want to grow as a writer, and I feel like I started paying too much attention to them. There’s all this advice out there about how by the time you are ‘this far’ into your story, you should have done all these things and have all these plot points set up. Or “Here is the list of all the plot points that must happen in your story.”
And I was like, oh shit, I’m at 48000 words and THE BIG THING I need to have happen (to kick off all the ‘stuff’) has JUST HAPPENED and if that’s supposed to happen in the first quarter of the book, then is this book going to be 200,000 words long? WHAT THE FUCK? I can’t write that. And if I go by this list of the 10 plot points I need to have, I don’t have plot point 2 and 4! THIS IS DISASTROUS.
Then depression and anxiety and yadda yadda – we had a whole post on that so I won’t go into it again. Then more depression, more anxiety. ETC.
So, where does that leave me now for Book 6? Well, now that I’m back writing, I’ve started by going back over what I’ve written and editing/re-viewing. It’s how I get back into the vibe I had for a book, or figure out if I even have a vibe yet.
And there’s stuff I can cut. I had an entire sub plot thing happening with Lily getting her own familiar that is NOT RELEVANT and not necessary so I cut that out. SORRY, LILY – maybe you and your familiar will get a short story.
I also realized I had a thing I needed to change. Hopefully this isn’t spolier-y, but there’s a moment in book 6 where a THING HAPPENS and rest of the Coven supports Jade and I realized…. Sorry, Jade, that doesn’t get to happen for you. You feel like an outsider and you still kind of are one, so #sorrynotsorry, your warm fuzzy moment has to go and they still won’t like you.
I feel a lot better about how that vibe is going to play out in the book.
As for the plotty mc-plotterson stuff I was discussing above – after long consideration, I decided I don’t, or rather I can‘t, care about general writing advice for how far along I need to be in my plot, or the order in which things have to happen, or even what a word count should be. I love the fact that people like my books, but I also write them for me. So, if I like the story I’m writing, then I’m happy. That may mean it’s not well-structured or wouldn’t get me a passing grade in a class on writing, lol. But I’ll be happy.
With that self-imposed pressure ‘released into the ether’ I’m just going to focus on writing the story I want to write and I hope that people like it when it’s done.
All right, internets! Take care and stay safe out there!