WELL, IT'S BEEN ABOUT five days since I finished the latest draft of Under Ten Thousand Stars and sent it off to my wonderful editor. I’d given myself two days to do the final read-through, but ended up reading the whole thing in three hours. This, of course, could have been a really good or bad thing. The first scenario is that it was so good that I breezed right through it without having to change a single comma. The second, and more likely, case is that I was so completely out of ideas I just hit the send button because I couldn’t look at it any more.
It was, as some of you would have read in previous posts, a particularly brutal experience. I’m not sure why this time around the rewrite was so challenging but I really laboured over every single word and what was supposed to take six weeks actually took about 3.5 months. And it’s not even the final draft! Having said that, I was still on a high at pressing send, and that euphoria carried me through the rest of the week. It’ll be a little while before it comes back to me – and by then I’m hoping I’ll be as fresh as a daisy and ready for the next round – but in the meantime I’ve been doing a bit of thinking, mostly about what to do next…
And that is? I’m glad you asked.
Write another book. You would think that I’d want to take a really long break after the bruising and battering experience of my latest draft, and you would be right, but I suspect I’m a glutton for punishment, which is why I’m diving right back in. The thing is, I don’t want to stop. And it's for a few good reasons: knowing that I could lose momentum, knowing that I could get sucked back into the daily grind, but mainly because I love writing and I can’t live without it. Simple as that. I want to write for the rest of my life and go out with a pen in my hand (actually it’ll probably be a computer mouse, but my literary metaphor is so much prettier). And so, back to the matter at hand, the subject matter to be precise.
And the ideas are already bubbling. You see, it all started with a movie poster. My local cinema is in the habit of giving away posters after the screenings finish, so I went down to grab The Shape of Water. (NB: I never actually got around to seeing the movie but for the moment the fancy schmancy poster will have to do.) The director in question is Guillermo del Toro, who was also responsible for the equally fantastical and gothic Pan’s Labyrinth. Perhaps it is because Mexicans – including the hybrids like me - have such a fascination for all things mystical, magical and other worldly, that their movies possess an ethereal beauty that appeals to many people. So as an homage to the land of my soul, I’ve already narrowed down some story ideas – mystical creature (tick), lonely woman in search of love (tick), spooky yet beautiful setting, more than likely a farmhouse with creaky doors (triple tick). Someone will die – someone always dies in my novels –and there will be a plot twist. Heroes will rise, etcetera... Ideas will become stories, and stories become books. It is currently going by the very catchy and engaging title of Book No. 4, but more on how to name a book in posts to come. That’s all I’ve got so far, but knowing there is another book coming to life makes me all kinds of happy.
Thanks for reading. Until next time, stay well and happy.
MADE IN PIXEL TOGETHER