Last Thursday night I spent a few hours going over my notes for OCCUPANT and totally revamped them. This was a novel I worked on last year for a while between drafts of THE REFLECTING STONE and THE ISLE, based on an idea that I had been carrying around for a while even before last year.
I wrote the first chapter Thursday night, about 3k words, then let it sit over the weekend while I caught up on sleep. Last night (Sunday) I wrote another 3 chapters and about another 9k words.
Although I was able to write many words last week and finish off the first draft of THE REFLECTING STONE, I do have to ask myself whether it was truly wise to push ahead at such a pace, considering I didn't get much rest. There are trade-offs. I don't want to push that hard with the current draft, but still I should be able to finish it by the end of next week. I hope the finished draft runs around 72k.
OCCUPANT is an engaging story. Those I've shared a description of it with have all found it interesting. It's a ghost story, to some extent, in that a ghost appears in it, but rather than the main focus, which it was originally supposed to be, the events related to the ghost are almost a subplot alongside the family drama that unfolds throughout the story. I'll have to see once I've completed this draft whether this current take on it works well. The story is intriguing, but much less complex than the story of THE REFLECTING STONE, which is an epic fantasy. I'm enjoying the lighter weight of the plot, which allows me to focus more on character development, a crucial component in a story of this type. I'm also focusing on my sense of how to write a scene. Another feature of this new novel is multiple points of view. THE REFLECTING STONE is written entirely from the main character's POV. I wanted to dabble in multiple POV's, and OCCUPANT is a good story to do that with.
While I'm working on this draft, I will see about developing the new web site I've wanted to get around to for some time now. I envision it as a combination of web pages and blog pages, as many writers have at their sites. A way to provide information, and blog, and get feedback. I'm also thinking of that certain other creative project I put two months of hard work into last Fall, and which I have let sit ever since so that I could focus on my writing again. I was nearly finished with it, and would love to see what comes of it when it's actually finished. So, I may get back to work on the Mystery Project as well, we'll see. I'll keep my number one priority as finishing OCCUPANT so I can get back to work on THE REFLECTING STONE.
Each time I write a draft, I gain more experience in applying the techniques I've learned for completing a manuscript. I get to see those techniques and the process of creation as a constant, regardless of the particular story I'm working on. I also gain experience in thinking through a story, exploring it, fleshing it out, developing it in detail as I write it. I gain experience in keeping track of details, building suspense, pouring emotion out on the page, all that stuff that hopefully will engage and motivate a Reader. So, I feel working on OCCUPANT right now is not a waste of time, but a great way to continue to move forward in developing my skills. When it's done, I'll go right back to work on THE REFLECTING STONE, pouring over what I did and figuring out what to do with it.
Thanks to those who shared their comments with me recently. And, I'm happy to introduce a new link on my site, to the blog of KATE EVANS. Check it out when you get a chance.