I’m sure you’re all dying to know how my writing is going.
Oh. Well, I shall tell you anyway. Aiella has been pretty much finished; it’s been edited through twice (by me, not being able to afford pro editing) and is now in the hands of kind people who will rip it to pieces … There is still a doubt as to the optimum ordering of the stories, but other than that (and whatever the readers throw up), it’s done.
I don’t want to publish it yet, though, as I’d like there to be a sequel ready to follow it as soon as possible. So, this is what I have been working on. Sequels are always a problem, it’s that Difficult Second Album Syndrome, but this one has some peculiar issues all of its own.
I do have a plot sketched out, and if I say so myself it’s not bad, as plots go, but there is a long way from three lines of outlining to a fully formed narrative. This is actually my second go at a sequel, as the first was abandoned after negative reader reaction. In that first attempt, the story opened with the death of the main character, Aiella herself. This was, to put it mildly, unpopular. Quite a lot of this story ended up being folded into Book One, with our heroine re-instated and entirely alive. So far, so good.
The plan was to then use as much as I could of Sequel Attempt One in Sequel Attempt Two, but this is proving difficult. Aiella still being very much alive has changed the whole tone and dynamic of the sequel, and also robbed it of its unifying theme. I’m having trouble coming up with a replacement line to hang the story on, a focus as it were.
Um, not explaining this very well, but I don’t want to reveal any spoilers. People are still reading Book One. (I hope). But, in essence, the death of Aiella and the consequences thereof formed the emotional thread that ran through the heart of Sequel One; although dead and buried, Aiella was a constant presence in the life of my new MC, who was driven to find out the secrets of Aiella’s life, a quest which drove the plot.
Now, of course, Aiella is right there, and all the secrets have been discovered long since. My new MC has a new name, home and family, but is otherwise the same character. Except that now the MC has no focus for their life, and I as the author have no handy line to hang successive scenes on. It’s all a bit wishy-washy, and to tell you the truth I’m still hankering after that first story, which had all the depth and power this one lacks. So it goes.
So that’s what I’ve been up to.
(As for my other work in progress, I’m afraid the Huldrasaga is still stuck where it was, and for much the same reasons. I have a plot outlined, but what the story doesn’t have is a heart).