Not good enough! Start again. And again.

Book 3 sagas…

In the last year I’ve written 80k words of my third book. That’s an average sized manuscript (both my other novels are about 78k words) so I should be celebrating. But unfortunately those 80k words are spread across two different novels, both of which I’m ditching.

So no celebrating just yet.

I enjoyed writing Glasdrum so much I wanted to stay with those characters a bit longer and write a sequel. I had various plots and themes I wanted to explore, but once I’d written around 50k words I realised I didn’t like the direction I’d taken. I’d gone for too much realism, and the story was dull. An interesting sub-plot had emerged that was more dramatic so I decided to re-write using that as the core theme of the book. I’ve become increasingly excited about this plot – it’s exactly the kind of book I want to write – but I kept running into technical issues. I found myself compromising on the story to fit it around the characters I had created for Glasdrum. Their ages and backgrounds, and the town itself, didn’t fit so well with this new story.

As an experiment, I spent the last two weeks creating a new town and set of characters to take forward the story. It’s been great fun, and all of a sudden I feel ready to start writing it. I’ve been more organised about plotting and character planning than when I wrote my first two novels – silly little things like keeping a note of a character’s hair colour or what kind of car they drive can save a lot of time at the end of the process when you’re doing a final proofread, something you don’t think about when you write your first novel – and I’m hoping that because this is the third draft of this story, the plot is clear in my head and the words will flow, fast and furious.

I will be going back to Glasdrum, but not quite yet. Blackrock is calling me for now – and it’s another dangerous place with sordid secrets!

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