Acknowledging achievements and planning the next step

Today I finished the first draft of my second novel. I wrote the first three chapters some time around the beginning of February, but only started really working on it about halfway through that month. So I’ve written it in more or less six weeks. Which is great, considering it’s come out at just under 76000 words. Already a decent length, and a lot of stuff will get added in during the editing stage. But that’s ok. After all, that’s what the editing stage is for. Editing.

I’m writing about this as a way of seeing if I can actually get it to sink in yet. I started planning this story on 1st January this year and to have the first draft done within three months is just fantastic. What’s also fantastic is that I know I can work faster. And the best thing is that, while that is set aside, I already have an idea for a related novella and another full length novel (completely unrelated).

I have decided to set this draft aside for at least two weeks which gives me a chance to have a go at writing a first draft of the novella (already planned out) and planning out the novel. If I am disciplined I will be able to hop-scotch my work, constantly working on one thing while something else is stewing in the planning or set-aside phases. Or, as in this case, both.

I am somewhat confused about where my writing career is heading, in terms of which genre I want to write in. I decided that I’m going to stay away from erotica, on the grounds that I cannot see how writing erotica and YA is going to endear me to the parents of my YA readers. So the next book on my writing list is the one that leapt into my head a few days ago and refused to go away – a paranormal romance.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Everyone’s doing it, blah blah blah. Well, this one doesn’t have vampires or werewolves in it. Yep, that’s right. Not a single shapeshifting animal in sight. Of course, that’s at this stage where it’s only very vaguely plotted (one page in a notebook style). But the main characters are very definitely one shape creatures.

Which may be why I’m intending to write my previously plotted paranormal novella involving two shapeshifters at the same time as I plan out the shapeshifter-free story mentioned above. That way I get to have all my jollies without disrupting the general paranormal romantic flow. Neat, huh?

Neither of these exactly tie in with my first book (adult dystopian sci-fi) or my second (YA paranormal/high fantasy). But I am excited about writing them, so I’m happy. Since I have neither publisher nor fans screaming for my next book in any particular genre, it really doesn’t matter what I write at the moment. I have to admit, this is one reason I am keen to go independent rather than traditional. I wouldn’t have to worry about my publisher nixing my next book on the basis that it isn’t similar enough to my previously published work.

And yes, I know, I’m getting ahead of myself, assuming I’m going to be that successful. Actually I’m not assuming anything. I’m being honest. I would love to be that successful. And a girl can dream, right?

About Mhairi Simpson

Writer, dreamer. Magic, dragons, pink mice, cake. Come say hi!
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14 Responses to Acknowledging achievements and planning the next step

  1. Akoss says:

    You talk a lot when you’re exited!!!
    But that’s good. It’s always good to get exited about one’s work, otherwise it wouldn’t be a passion.
    Congrats again.

    • Thank you πŸ™‚ I’m glad I’m excited about it. Writing used to be something that just wouldn’t let me be. Now that I’m finally indulging it, I am so excited about each story! I’m sure I’ll be sick of the one I just finished by the time the edits are done πŸ˜€

  2. Congrats on finishing your first draft – that’s really impressive! I’m still slogging through mine (can you tell I’m in the middle?). Picking a genre has been killing me too. The nice thing is, YA paranormal is a pretty big blanket so it can hopefully cover a lot of different types of stories. I look forward to hearing more about your new WIPS!

    • I reached a really sticky spot around the 40-50k mark. Just lost interest, for no reason at all. Luckily I got over it and here we are πŸ™‚ Jim Butcher calls it the Great Swampy Middle – a very accurate description!

  3. Cherie Reich says:

    You should always dreams. πŸ™‚

    As for what you write, you should write what speaks to you, no matter what it is. If it becomes complicated when you publish said works, pen names can be a friend.

    And, I still love the paranormal genre, always have actually.

  4. Sonia M. says:

    Woohoo! Congrats!!! Especially since you completed it so quickly! I’m finally ready to pick up my MIP again after a couple of months of it being on the back burner…but it really needed that time to simmer. I want to be able to write faster though, so I can outpace Agent 36, that pesky inner critic. πŸ˜€

    • I certainly wouldn’t have written so fast if I didn’t have a critique partner on my back pushing me to get the work out. I had promised her to finish up the last few chapters by tomorrow night, but since tomorrow was set to be a busy day, I ended up finishing it today instead!

      The inner critics are so harsh, aren’t they? If you want a reader at any point, let me know – I’ll be happy to help πŸ˜€

  5. Trisha says:

    Congrats on getting your first draft done!! πŸ˜€

  6. ellieswords says:

    Congrats, AnneMhairi! That is so awesome. Give yourself a huge pat on the back (but dont’ hurt yourself) πŸ™‚

  7. alberta ross says:

    Is that first book adult dystopian published? if so where do we get hold of it?

    that draft was super quick well done

    • It’s not published. It actually needs a thorough going-over – I wrote it for a competition and started the very next day on planning the one I just finished. It being my first, I’m positive it needs a lot of work! I’ve sent it over to my critique partner and definitely plan to publish at some point – it was also intended to be the first of a trilogy.

      When it finally gets published, you can be sure I will let you know!

      Re the draft: thanks! πŸ˜€

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