I worked out last night that I've been editing or rewriting since before Christmas. That's six full months where, while I might have written new words, there were no new ideas. No new worlds. No new characters or problems to solve.
A few days ago, I wrote the first words for a brand new story. It's a sequel to Warrior Pledge which is coming out with Dreamspinner Press in November. I took the first scene to my critique group last night, knowing it was still unfinished, unpolished.
They read it, put it down, said "I love it". I picked up my pen and waited. I didn't have to wait long. The questions came thick and fast:
- What sort of name is Temis? It came from Artemis? Why not just call him Artemis?
- There's too much backstory in the first page. Cut it, bleed it in elsewhere.
- Are you sure this is where the story should start?
- Where did the red light come from?
- Is this the same world as Warrior Pledge? When did the two moons get names? (I forgot to tell them about the edits I'd been doing with Warrior Pledge.)
- Why did his mother leave? Where is she now? What part is she playing to be introduced on the first page?
- Is he a shapeshifter? What do you mean he's going to learn how to do it? How can you learn how to do something like that?
- What colour is he? How does that manifest when he changes?
- He's in a volcano? If that's active there'll be light impacting on his view of the sky. You need to research light polution.
- How do dragons have sex? How do they end up in the amber/granite? If he's blue, what rock was he born under? Research gemstone formation, chemical composition. What gems are formed near volcanoes?
- You need to research chickens. If dragons lay eggs, they'll need a cloaca or something similar.
- What about turtles? Do dragons lay their eggs and then abandon them?
Everything is nebulous, like shifting fog under streetlights.
It's been so long since I began a new story, I'd forgotten what a complete buzz it is. The whole world is there for me to discover. Yes, Warrior Pledge is set in the same world, but it's set in the middle--the desert and the Aylmer Mountains. This one is going to be set to the south and north of that. New ground. I have a lot of work to do and I want to get started, already becoming impatient with parts of my real life because they're taking me away from it.
It's a good thing I have a writers' retreat in a couple of weeks and another two weeks after that I can block out for writing. July is Camp NaNo too, so that's another intense writing time. Let's see how much I can write before August...
Image from: http://www.deviantart.com/art/Purple-Dragon-90438073. I bought a copy of the print just so I could use it here. It's going to look great in my office.