Whoa, I think that’s the first all-caps title I’ve ever had. It’s a bit overwhelming, but it captures my emotions pretty well, so I’m keeping it.
A few minutes ago, I finally finished a full rough draft of my current work-in-progress, which as been tentatively titled THE RESISTANCE. It’s the work-in-progress I’ve been referring throughout the past few blog posts. Yep, the same work that I’ve been a chapter or two away from finishing for the past two weeks and thus, putting off finishing for the past two weeks. But it is done! And by done, I’m using the writer’s definition, which basically means it will never actually be done. Instead, I’ll continue to edit and edit until it finally becomes “good enough” and editing further would only hurt it. I already have a list of notes regarding aspects I want to change and worldbulding/scenes I need to add. The hardest part now will be waiting a solid month or so, starting around Independence Day, before I go back and touch this beauty. I want to start editing now. But, the story needs to breathe. The characters, which I know so well, need a chance to become less familiar, so that when I go back to edit and improve come July, it will be with a fresher pair of eyes, which will enable me to catch more of my mistakes. And trust me, there are *plenty*.
It’s weird, being able to say I’ve written four books. (I just noticed it is the same number of tattoos I have…interesting). For some reason, four is just so much more substantial to me than three. Three is a hearty number, a very solid number. But four…perhaps it is because this is the first book that isn’t part of the trilogy that makes up the previous three, proving to myself that I’m capable of writing multiple stories and thus, have the promise of building a career. Perhaps four rings with slightly more accomplishment because it is a step closer to being a “real” author. It is a sign of my commitment to my work and my art. This book isn’t any more important than the three previous books–in fact, I think Darryn’s trilogy will always hold a very important place in my heart and I can never give up on him–but Grayson’s story has taught me a lot. And I think Grayson’s story has the potential, if I put in the work and do my research, to help me get that much closer to achieving my dream.
Grayson’s story started out a screenplay I wrote my senior year of college. The assignment was to write a full-length (60 page) screenplay. Mine ended up being 108 pages–the longest screenplay my professor had ever received and he was retiring after that year. Ironically, it is the shortest book I’ve written, falling just under 73,000 words. To be a contender, I need to add about 7-10K, whereas my previous trilogy, I need to cut roughly 10-25K from the first two books. *le sigh* But I’m not worried about the word count, though I stressed about it a lot as I was writing it. Instead, at this moment, I am so proud how the story has evolved and the future it has.
It is an adult science fiction about the extinction of humanity. Originally, it was planned as a stand-alone. The final scene–made more for the screen than the page, but works in both instances–is perfect to leave audiences questioning and not the least bit pissed off. I never had any plans for it to go anywhere else. But as I wrote and learned more about the characters, complications arose that made it necessary to set up a sequel, though expanding it into a trilogy…I’m not so sure. Yet the best part is that it still reads as a stand-alone with series potential and considering that is what agents want, that’s bloody exciting.
It’s a world that lacks color and is quickly running out of humans. In the fight not just for survival, but to continue as a species, it becomes difficult for the remaining survivors to determine who their real enemy is: the aliens that proved the catalyst to the Collapse, the droids that are the weapons of mass destruction, the single human that is the mastermind, or themselves. Throw in some betrayal, death (plenty of it), whispers of romance, grotesque scenes that made my toes literally curl as I wrote them and technology I don’t even fully understand, and there you have it: THE RESISTANCE.
I know this is a braggy blog post. I apologize if I am coming off as haughty or snobbish or self-centered. That is not my intention. It’s just I am so excited about this book. I am so excited that I am taking myself seriously as a writer and giving these stories the attention they deserve. Even if the moment directly after finishing the book was lackluster compared to the shaking, the sweating and the tears that followed finishing my first book, the joy and the excitement are still there; particularly when I realized that I can start plotting my next series, featuring a old man named Artemis Smith, broken dreams, a magic mansion and all the tropes and clichés you can think of. I’m SO excited to meet him and discover his story, as it has been knocking around inside my head for quite some time now. Plus, while plotting that, I’m going to return to Darryn’s story and work hard on figuring out how to make professional readers love him as much as I do. And I’m excited, despite the work involved there and this being the nth time I’ve edited this story, to return to that familiar world that I love so much.
Friends, I’ve written four books. It’s been roughly five years since I finished the first draft of book one. I have improved so much, but still have so much left to learn. But better yet, I still have so many stories to discover and write. I seriously can’t wait for you to read them one day. Thank you for the support and for being friends with a person who lives mostly inside her own head, stuck with the thoughts of other characters, and being willing to read my ramblings about them and the experiences that result through this blog. If my dream ever comes true (and I’m stubborn enough to believe that it will), at the end of the day, it will all be because of you.