On October 11th, I started writing Jaelyn (now titled The Renegade), the fourth book in The Devil Particle Series. Over the last couple of years, I’ve worked on revising the first three books, so it’s been a while since I’ve written something new.
The hardest part about writing something entirely new isn’t coming up with ideas, this book is the fourth in the series so a lot of that hard work is already done, and it isn’t finding the time, I’m good at deadlines. It’s combating my inner critic. Let’s call her Bellatrix.
Bellatrix is always with me and when I edit she helps me distinguish between what’s working and what isn’t. But when it comes to writing a first draft, Bellatrix needs to keep her comments to herself.
As I write, Bellatrix can’t stop herself from critiquing my words, but I’ve gotten pretty good at ignoring her. I do this by telling her no one but me will read this first draft. I remind her I’m just getting the gist of the story down. Once that’s done, I’ll have something tangible to work with. Still, I have to stop Bellatrix from talking me into adding more setting or description or fixing redundancies and awkward word choices. No editing allowed, I tell her, that work’s for future drafts.
I’m a pantser, I write by the seat of my pants. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the story and to my characters until I write it. Lately, I’ve also become a little bit of a plotter. I threw together a structure for The Renegade even before I wrote a single word. I’ve never done that before.
As Bellatrix was eager to point out, this structure was full of cliched story ideas and very obvious plot twists. “Melodramatic,” Bellatrix said. She’s right. I settled her down by pointing out, that as a pantser, I won’t really know the true structure of this book until I finish it.
So, I’m silencing Bellatrix. Keeping her quiet frees me to let my imagination run wild. Without Bellatrix hounding me, I write over 1,000 words a day (check out my daily word counts on Facebook and Twitter). I wrote the first draft of The Devil Particle (the first book in the series) in nine months–a record for me. At the rate I’m going, I’ll finish this draft of The Renegade in two months, well before the holidays. Right on schedule.
Take that, Bellatrix.
I’m researching book cover designers! I hope to hire one in the next few weeks to design the covers for the four books in The Devil Particle Series.
Title changes — I’ve changed the titles of the last two books in The Devil Particle Series. The four books are now titled: The Devil Particle, The Vessel, The Runner, and The Renegade. Each book will have the subtitle: Book 1 (or 2, 3, or 4) of The Devil Particle Series. As always, I’m open to your input. Let me know what you think of these titles!