This post is looooong overdue. I don’t really have any excuse other than that TWCS has been taking up so much of my time the last couple of months, that I basically shoved everything else aside. So let’s get to it.
Me about 4½ months ago:
I finished the first draft of As the Walls Fall on 5 September, and there’s a bit of a story behind this one.
|Yeah. At the bottom it says 'Go to friend's house for pants'.|
A few months ago somebody tweeted me a link to a short story call for submissions from a new small press. In general I’m not a fan of writing short story, only because when I write a short, I see the novel it can become. This makes me stay away from them. But when I read the short post detailing what the small press wanted, this idea jumped into my head. I scribbled my plot/idea onto the square to your right, and had a chat with one of my friends/CPs, Kat.
Since I’d sent out TWCS for crits, I thought why not write the short? I was craving new words and this presented the best opportunity. It’s only a few thousand words, and what I had in mind for my main character was fun.
I wrote the short and loved every second of it. It ended up being roughly 7 100 words and an exciting story, to me at least. Leah(who I imagine something like this, some of you might recognize the image) is an easily panicked scatterbrain most of the time, and Arch… Well, Arch is quiet and strong, and best of all, he likes Leah the way she is. I adore him. Not so much in the novel that followed this short. Revenge is such a convoluted thing, right? I basically threw everyone and everything into a blender, switched it on, and watched while laughing at what happened. Yeah, I didn't feel bad about any of the crappy things I put these characters through.
I’ll have to check, but I think about a month later I started writing a full-length novel for Leah and Arch. I like to think of it as a Steampunk Romance Deconstructed. Sort of. Those who’ll read it will know exactly what that means when they finish the story.
After lots of brainstorming with Kat, and lots of emails to get the general idea in place, the novel ended up being just over 60k. I’ll have to go do some blog math(read: I’m too lazy to go back) but I’m sure this was one of my quickest drafts to date.
Aside from loving my main characters, something else that I enjoyed immensely when it came to writing this novel was the language/writing style/voice I used in this story. I mainly write urban fantasy, and unfortunately the voice would not work in a Steampunk novel like this one. During critiques/edits of my UF I have to delete a lot of words that aren’t time period appropriate, something that makes me extremely sad, but is necessary. With this novel I went crazy. There are old-timey words everywhere.
But it worked so well in this Steampunk. For that alone I’m glad I got to write this story, not matter what happens to it in the future.
I sent AtWF to my very first reader/CP/friend, Juliana, on Tuesday.
Since I wrote the abovementioned, I rewrote this novel, read it, gave it a very light edit(I can’t edit my own stuff, ask my CPs, they’ll confirm it. I give it a valiant try, though), and read it again. On Tuesday I finished the latest read-through, and within half an hour, sent it to my CP. Because if I hadn’t, I would have changed my mind.
For a while I’ve been in that pleasant state where my novel was perfect. There were no flaws, no plot holes, no confusing sentences and paragraphs that didn’t make sense. Nobody disliked any of my characters for the wrong reason. It was pretty damn awesome. I’m going to cling to that until I get feedback.
I’ve so many mixed feelings about AtWF. Leah has been my favorite MC to write thus far. It feels like I’m betraying my other MCs for saying this, but it’s true. AtWF is not the MS that I’m mainly focusing on. It’s more my in between story. It’s finally reached that stage where I need it critiqued, and I’d love to have it submission ready by the end of the year.
I don’t know… I just love this one so much. And the reasons I adore it so much is different than all the others. I think it might just be Leah(and a side character called Tig) along with the time I get to spend with this very small cast of characters.
So let's cross our fingers and hope that my CPs won't tell me this one is a train wreck. I'm all about positive thinking this year. Instead let's cross our fingers and hope that my CPs love this story almost as much as I do.