I wrapped up this draft of book three last week and then dove straight into edits for book two and today page proofs for book one arrived.
My work is never done. Which is good since it’s, you know, my work.
I’m still reeling from finishing that draft – it’s a mixed bag of awful and bad and maybe, just maybe, all right -but thankfully the other two books are in a state much closer to Done and therefore can help ground me and remind me that I can, in fact, write. And that awful first (ish) drafts are just a part of the process.
I’ve been asked a few times how I juggle three books with three distinct plots and three entirely different characters and somehow keep them straight.
The short answer is: I don’t.
The longer answer:
It’s not the plot or the characters that make it difficult to switch between the books. It’s the emotional arcs and weight of each. I really have to take a day or two and just sort of… sit with it to get back into the right frame of mind. It helps that I’ve built a distinct soundtrack for each of the books, with specific songs for specific sections. Putting on the song I need for the section I’m writing/editing/revising/what-have-you makes that transition a heckuva lot easier. Also, you know, going for a long walk.
But for sure, I’ve started writing one book only to find myself typing out the name of the MC from another. It takes a little bit of time before I can sink into another project. Which is why I try to minimize how much I switch around, and (probably) why I’ve been having a harder-than-usual time for book three. I started that beast back in July, while I was waiting for my edits on one, and then dropped it to do said edits, and then picked it up again only to drop it again to do edits for two. Now I’ve been sitting on a second round of book two edits just so I can finish this draft.
And this draft is done. So. Time to put on some music and switch again!
Here’s current progress on Book Three, working title The Unconquered City, the story of an assassin turned monster hunter who’s really sick of people threatening her city. Now with more! rain, rain, and rain.
Project: Book Three, Draft 0.5
Current word count: 74,209 / 74,209 words.
What’s next?: A few weeks to finish book 2 edits, write a synopsis, read through page proofs – and then on to the next draft.