Tuesday, February 5, 2013

First Draft Finito!

Yes, folks, I have just finished the first draft of The Plane and the Parade, the third book in the Veronica Barry series (unless you count Veronica in Paris, which is book "zero" and takes place about 13 years before The River and the Roses). I'm doing a first read-through and then I'll be sending The Plane and the Parade to my most wonderful beta-reader, Kathryn. And while she's slogging through that, I'll be working on a cover. Although I have been searching through images, and so far I haven't found any parade ones I'm particularly taken with.

It's always so wonderful to finish the first draft. The revisions are much less fun. Yes, yes, I know they are a necessary evil, and I'm going to do my best to nail every typo and fill every plot hole. I'm just not going to particularly enjoy it.

I've been giving a lot of thought to what to write next, and I just finished reading a GLBT fantasy novel that I'll be reviewing here soon that I absolutely loved, and it made me want to write a GLBT fantasy novel. Or maybe just a fantasy novel, with or without GLBT characters. I've got a fantasy world I spend month building many many years ago that I'd love to actually set a novel in.

Trouble is, I'm really not sure what my characters or story would be like. I have odds and ends in terms of ideas, but nothing that hangs together. I know I like an old-fashioned quest, of course.

But then there's the whole idea I had about trying my hand at writing a romance, and I'm really not sure I'd want to combine the two. QUEST + ROMANCE = CHEESY. Not always, of course, but it just seems like if the point is to find the MacGuffin before the world ends or whatever, then splitting your attention to moon over some hottie is a little bit counterproductive. And I do realize the hottie can be the MacGuffin, but then it just really becomes a book about a character who is obsessed with someone else and needs to develop a stronger sense of self. Although I suppose the Myadar serial I've been working on has some elements of this--in her case it's a child, not a hottie, though. I like writing female main characters, though, and if I'm going to write a romance, I don't want my mc to be so smitten with the love interest that they pursue them like a MacGuffin. And as for a scenario where the mc of my fantasy novel dutifully pursues the (non-character) MacGuffin and falls in love with some other character who is somehow tangentially involved, while I have no problem with this sort of story, it's not really a romance. It's a fantasy story with an element of romance. And so it doesn't satisfy the "I should try writing a romance" urge.

No, I have a couple of specific needs when it comes to my mc, and these vary by genre. For one thing, if I do write a fantasy novel, I want my mc to be powerful. I often write mcs that are fairly ordinary or at least inexperienced, and as such, apt to get their butts whipped. It would be nice, for a change, to have an mc who does the butt-whipping. If I write a romance, I suppose my mc could still be a butt-whipper, (ahem--this is straying into unintended territory--keep your minds out of the gutter, people) but it's really not so essential.

There was the whole Edwardian romance idea, but I am, shall we say, a perfectionist when it comes to research, and would probably drown in any effort to write a historical romance even of the shallowest kind. I've considered possibly creating a fantasy setting that somewhat emulates the Edwardian England of Jane Austen, thereby releasing myself from the need for accuracy of depiction, but then we stray back into FANTASY + ROMANCE = CHEESY again.

Welcome to the merry-go-round that is my mind when I try to tease out a new story. :P

How about you, do you ever find yourself going around in circles when you're trying to nail down a new story?


  1. I vote for Edwardian butt-whippers.

    Nailing down a story outside my usual pigeonhole can be hard. It easily comes to a point of, "Is this a story anymore? Or just me stretching hella?"

    & thanks for linking me.