On Saturday, I sent Closed Hearts off to the copyeditor: the beginning of the end of the novel belonging to the writer, and the start of the story belonging to readers. If the comments on FB and Twitter are any indication, readers are excited to read it, for which I’m incredibly grateful. It’s profoundly rewarding to have people who want to read your work, so thank you to everyone who’s cheered me on in the process of creating Book Two of the Mindjack Trilogy!
Words in the novel:
Closed Hearts: 84,109
Open Minds: 84,489
Words in Scrivener (research, notes, hyperlinks, etc):
Book The Third: 12,789
Closed Hearts: 81,456
Open Minds: 103,115
(Yes, I already have 12,789 words of notes on Book The Third, mostly outline, invented technology, and some research. It shocked me to discover I had created more words in notes than in the novel for Open Minds!)
Creation Time (concept to final draft):
Closed Hearts: 6 months
Open Minds: 24 months
(Note: in the 24 months of creating Open Minds, I also wrote/revised/drafted/worked-on-in-some-way three other novels and one short story)
Pantsing vs. Plotting?
Closed Hearts: Hyper-plotting
Open Minds: Pantsing up until the last three drafts
Number of Drafts (substantial revisions/rewrites):
Closed Hearts: 4
Open Minds: 6
Writing the second book in a trilogy brings its own challenges: carrying the story forward within the larger three-book story arc while still having a beginning, middle, and end to the second book; bringing forward some characters, but creating new ones as well; recapping enough of the first book to remind readers what happened without bogging down in backstory. But all of that pales compared to the adrenaline-driven excitement of writing this book, knowing there were readers out there wanting to read it. There is a saying that the writing process is not complete until someone reads the work – for me, this is especially true.
This same excitement is already carrying over to Book The Third, which I’m well into plotting and hope to start drafting next week. I have a writing retreat planned with fellow Indelibles writer Magan Vernon, author of How to Date An Alien, in early May, in which we will both be working on the third books in our trilogies (as well as paying homage to The Cheesecake Factory and investigating as to whether aliens are the true owners of IKEA).
I will have (many) more details to come about Closed Hearts but here’s the most important one: