Sorry for the long silence. I am in that curious state of limbo that is Submissions, combined with writing The First Draft of my next manuscript. When I get going it’s basically all I can focus on. I have written 15,000 words so far, and am aiming to reach my expected target of 40,000-50,000 words in the next two weeks. I hope to have the first round of edits done by the end of June (preferably 2014).
This is only my second ms so I’m not sure if I have a modus operandi yet, but so far it is progressing much like my first. I complete a basic storyline, usually four or five key points, then write between 1,000-5,000 words a day. If the story wants to change, I let it. At this stage the only things I am really thinking about are plot and voice, because they are what come most easily, and I just want to get the story out as quickly as possible.
Then the really fun part begins – editing! With ‘The Cartographer’s Daughter’, this involved adding a lot of world building elements, and developing characters. There were too many events happening in a bang! bang! bang! fashion (technical term) and so it needed more scenery and more connection for the reader.
This manuscript’s problems are different. The voice is very strong and dominates the book, so I don’t think connection will be a problem. It will be a case of balancing this with pace, and ensuring the plot holds up. It is in some ways a quieter book, but with a louder voice coming through.
I have also been reading a lot since starting the second ms – most recently Wonder by RJ Palacio, Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan, and currently Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell, and The Letter for the King by Tonke Dragt (translated by Laura Watkinson). Though it’s scary to admit it, these are the kind of books I want mine to be mentioned in the same breath as. So aside from enjoyment it is useful/essential to see what successful writers are doing right.
More soon. Happy writing!