I’m finally able to say that I have a complete rough draft for The Huntsman. Turns out I lied to everyone on Facebook though. I apparently started on the Huntsman (according to my blog) for NaNoWriMo of 2016, meaning it’s only been two years, and not three. Sorry for the confusion, but I’m far happier to realize that it only *felt* like it took a million years to write this book.
I struggled a lot with this book, as most people do with sequels, but knowing other people have suffered like you have only helps but so much when you’re in the depths of your own suffering. However, in September of last year, when I was feeling particularly panicked, I decided to write a note to myself that I wouldn’t look at again until I had finished this book. It is as follows:
Sept 27, 2017: I am so beyond stuck with this story that I don’t even understand how any of it is going to work. There’s so much that needs to go on, none of it is flowing. None of it works. I am sitting here terrified, going to through the story trying to find something that will work to make this story make sense.
So when I do make this story work, I am going to look back at this moment and remind myself that I can make anything work. It might not look pretty between here and there. I might have to change or completely rewrite a bunch of stuff, but there is a way that this story works and makes sense, and I just have to get out there and find it without worrying about what it looks like now or how long it might take. If I can make this story work, then I can make any story work.
I’m so proud of me for making it through. All it took was stubborn refusal to give up on my story. Well and support, breaks, some wins, and a whole lot of words. But mostly not giving up. :)
And now, on the 31st of October, NaNoWriMo looms. I am immediately launching myself into The Wizard, which is book three of this trilogy. I figure there’s little point spending time polishing book two before I finish book three. Mostly I want to see if I can create something resembling a satisfying ending on a book three. Plus, there’s a high likelihood of something needing to change in book two anyway. I changed quite a few things in book one while writing book two, and that one I had polished.
I’m a little anticipatory (Huh, spelled that word right on the first try.) about NaNoWriMo this year, but I think it’s mostly surrounding starting on the third book of my trilogy. If a book two was uncharted waters, then book three is so far off the map I can’t even begin to wonder what it will be like. But then being a discovery writer, to me, is all about having faith in your ability to eventually figure out wtf is going on. Writing, keys flying over the keyboard, and suddenly your characters are doing something you didn’t expect, the plot is going out into left field, and that moment when suddenly it all works and makes sense? Oh man, it is pretty great.
I’m sticking with the standard 50k words for my NaNo goal. I know I won’t be able to get much past that without going through and smoothing a few times anyway, so trying to push for more words will just burn me out like it did two years ago. (Yay, learning from my mistakes.) So 2000 words per day (Fridays off). No big, it’s just NaNoWriMo. If you’d like to follow my progress: This is me.