If you haven’t heard the good news (or didn’t trust me to do it when I told you in my blog last week) I finished drafting the sequel to The Neverland Wars! I need to get it spruced up and edited, but if the initial release of The Neverland Wars itself goes well, we should be able to get right on publishing the second.
I should get back into the habit of doing these. I think they’re invaluable snapshots of my artistic process.
PETER’S RESISTANCE (formerly Piper’s Invasion) was hard. This was the first book I’d ever had to write. They’re almost literally paying me to write this one. While the publishing process caught on every conceivable snag of incompetence, it was hard to avoid being demotivated. I can push through a book when I’m not motivated, but when I’m actively demotivated, as I was for the first time ever here, it is a whole other story.
I was not ready to write this book. The fact that the title got changed during the last chapter (and might change again) is evidence of that. I don’t like being on a timeline. If I ever do a series again, I’m going to write the whole thing—and take my precious years doing it—before I send the first one out into the world.
I feel like I overused words and wrote too much any time I tried to say any little thing. This should be a good exercise for me in pruning my manuscript down and getting rid of that 10% which Stephen King says is pure bloat.
My friend in the UK was my only writing buddy for this, and she only came in at the very end. But that’s when I did my best work, so maybe that says something about the importance of writing buddies for me.
I wish Piper had been on stage longer. This book failed to live up to my expectations, because I failed to form enough expectations before I went into it. Even still, I think my prose is steadily improving and this will be on par with The Neverland Wars’ composition and style. Middle books are hard, it turns out. I think the third one will go better, especially if I put another book between this and it. I need time away from this story, something I haven’t had since the writer’s conference over a year ago. That’s a long time to dedicate to a single and sole project, in my world at least. The third one will be better. The problem with middle books is you already have the deal so there isn’t the anticipation of the first book, and you still have another book to go, so there isn’t the sense of finality like when you begin a third book. A similar thing happened with Common Law.
I’m going to edit this better than any book I’ve ever written. Nothing went wrong with it that good editing can’t solve, and every book deserves good editing anyways.
I was at the wrong time in my life to write this. The mental breakdown I had earlier this week upon realizing that I was trying to keep all the bottled emotions corked, even as I attempted to pour them into the story…that helped. I need to be honest with myself, even if it is ugly. This is a book about separation from the one you love, the one you belong with. It is about the strange friendships that form between old loves, and the stranger loves that form between friends. I am too happy and swimming in a sense of belonging-right-where-I-am to tap into that feeling, and I’m glad the challenge of that is finally over.
For what it is worth, I think this has the best final line of any book I’ve ever written.