I’ve made quite a lot of progress since the last time I posted about my writerly endeavors. I finished drafting my series, The Venatrix Chronicles, which is . . . yeah. I still can’t quite believe it. I’ve been developing this story since January 2017! How can it possibly be done?
Short answer: it isn’t.
Before this series can launch, I’ve got about six pages worth of rewrite notes I need to see to. And before I tackle those, I’ve got this month’s writing project, which is . . .
I am writing a prequel novel called Song of Shadows. It takes place a good twenty-five years or so before the main series, and tells the story of Venatrix Hollis di Theldry, a young shade-huntress on a mission to save the man she loves. Problem is . . . he doesn’t want to be saved.
(Added fun—they are both members of the same Holy Order, and if their love for each other is discovered, they’ll be put to death. So we get a bit of star-crossed angst along with the daring escapes, the shadow-monsters, and the heroic deeds!)
Anyway, I’m totally excited about this story. But . . . it’s also a major PAIN IN THE NECK TO WRITE!
“Why?” you ask. “You just finished drafting a seven book series. One little stand-alone novel shouldn’t be so bad! So what’s with all the grumbling?”
Well, let me explain . . .
One of THE HARDEST parts when writing a new fantasy series is establishing the magic-system and the histories in interesting ways. Ways that don’t feel like I’m just info-dumping on the reader. No one likes to be reading along and then suddenly have the author break and just fling a bunch of explanations around the place. It’s not cool.
But slipping all of that information in subtly—without interrupting the action—is hard work. Work I already did for Book 1 in the Venatrix Chronicles. Work I haven’t had to do for Books 2-7. Other than short recaps of things, those books simply carry on where Book 1 left off, so there’s no need for copious amounts of information sharing. The reader should already know it.
Now with this prequel novel, I’m back at square one. I have to assume that my readers have never encountered this world before, so I’ve got to introduce it all from scratch. Again. Without letting it fall into info-dump mode.
I’ve tried three or four different opening chapters now, none of which have quite worked. I know I’ll get there eventually, but in the meanwhile . . . UGH-UGH-UGH.
I absolutely love writing. Like, 40% of the time. The other 60% is SO MUCH AGONY.
And that basically sums up the creative life for you write there—ongoing agony punctuated by small but brilliant moments of ecstasy.
But the ecstasy is so delicious, we creative types keep going back for more . . .
Wish me luck, friends! I’m trying to get this thing written in a month, so I’ve got to figure out this opening soon.