If this looks like a pep talk, it is.
For the last two weeks, I’ve been struggling with writer’s block, unable to make forward motion on the manuscript of Trial By Blood (Book 3) no matter how hard I tried.
You see, a year ago, I had about 30,000 words written in that manuscript. Nearly halfway to completion.
Then I decided to make the plunge and self-publish the series. In The Blood (Book 1) and Out For Blood (Book 2) underwent an extensive revision, and while I am thrilled with the final drafts of those novels, when I sat down to return to work on the third installment in the series, I realized nearly 90% of the book no longer fit where I had left off.
Writing a book is an intense process, and I had come to love sections of what I’d written. But my attachment to those scenes was getting in the way of being able to move forward.
Sometimes the only way to get things to flourish is to do some ruthless pruning.
Still, I dithered a little, telling myself I could make a few alterations and the text would still work. I printed out the pages of the manuscript, thinking that returning to pen and paper would work some sort of magic and fix what was wrong.
Finally, I recognized it wasn’t to be. Those pages had to go. I wrote myself a pep talk, gave myself permission to let go, and literally tore out the pages that don’t fit the narrative anymore.
Almost nothing now remains of the original manuscript beyond chapter one. It was terrifying.
However, after getting a good night’s sleep and returning to work this morning, I felt suddenly free of the burden of fixing what was wrong, and after a cup of coffee, I wrote out a brand new outline for the book in about twenty minutes. As I sat back and read it over, I couldn’t stop smiling.
Trial By Blood isn’t the book I thought it would be.
It’s bold, breathtaking, and original. The twists and turns surprised even me, and now I’m energized and thrilled to get started. All those pages were tripping me up, and without them, I feel a renewed joy and wonder at the adventure ahead.
Some people have asked if this third book will be the end of the series or if there is more to come. The short answer is “I don’t know yet.”
I can promise the end of Trial By Blood is satisfying, and the story arch is complete by the end of the book. However, there are certainly ways in which the series could continue with new storylines. I have ideas for three and potentially six more future installments. If readers want it, I will certainly be happy to provide more entertainment and excitement.
But I also have other stories that want telling as well, and other characters are waiting their turns to be brought to light. Whether they’re a part of this series or something totally new remains to be decided.
Trial By Blood is due out in the summer of 2018. I’ve already made a new cover for it, and I’m going to be hard at work giving it my all.
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It’s so freeing isn’t it! I had to do that with Jaidee’s story, and man was it hard to let go of some of the story that no longer worked. I’m sure book three will be amazing. Good luck!
Thank you! You too!
Good for you, Delia! Words are never, ever wasted in my opinion. That’s practice, and every single bit of it will show up going forward. I think the best gift we can give ourselves as writers AND as people is to listen to that story engine inside our heads. And make sure we’re having fun most of all! 🙂
Exactly. My gut knew those pages were holding me back. I just had to let go. The story I’ve got planned is going to be so much better now.
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