This morning’s writing was a scene that introduced a leprechaun called Larry McNally. What I love about this character is that he plays up to all the stereotypes but only because he chooses to in order to promote his nightclub. Behind closed doors, Larry is anything but your stereotypical leprechaun.
I had to pick up the car from the garage today, and little did I know that Larry wasn’t done with me.
I’ve set myself a target of the end of July to get this draft done. It’s a self-imposed deadline so I’m not going to be too worried if I miss it by a week or so, as long as I am constantly working towards it.
A writer’s head is filled with insecurities and as I walked, one of those came to the forefront of my mind. The novel is split into 2 or 3 parts (depending on the draft). Part 1 is done, dusted and almost at a finished stage. Part 2 is being currently rewritten with a view to part 3 being taken once that is done. However, part 2 introduces a lot of new characters, whilst some of those from Part 1 get abandoned, and my worry was that I was burning through characters. It just felt a little too much, a little too fast, like I’d not resolved one character before moving onto another. It just felt wrong.
Then it hit me, like a little nuclear bomb going off in my brain… it’s 2 books!
I’d considered this before, but given that part 1 is about 50,000 words, I felt having a part 1 and 2 (and possibly a 3) was the answer.
But part 2, whilst it is a continuation of the story, thematically feels very different to part 1. And after having written a great number of words on it, I’m now pretty convinced by that.
I’d worried that the end of part 1 wasn’t strong enough for the book, but it’s a stronger ending than The Blade Itself, as strong as Nights of Villjamur. The other major worry is that half of part 1 is set in and around London, giving it a very strong Urban Fantasy vibe. Once we go into the fantasy world, things take on more and more of a ruralistic fantasy vibe and I worry that this is somehow deceiving the audience as the tone shifts over the course of what was 3, is now 4 or 5 books. A quick poll on twitter seems to suggest this doesn’t deter audiences and in many ways I think it’ll make for a very interesting series, giving it a real sense of progression.
Of course this means that I have to turn part 1 from 50,000 words to almost double that. You can’t simply pad a novel, so instead I leave the head and the tail, and gut the rest. Forget talk of killing your darlings, this is a bloodbath. I already had notes on where I needed to strengthen the story, and I’m going to mull on this for a day or two, so that these revisions help part 1 stand on its own two feet.
I honestly think the original story was very, very strong (I am somewhere between quietly confident and deluded that this story is a little special), I think this split has now made it even stronger, helps de-clutter the story a little by giving it a little room to breathe. The more I think about it the more I think it is the right thing to do, even if it means my book titles are possibly out the window.
My poor friends though. They’ve seen this novel go through iteration after iteration, and nearly convinced me I was just unable to complete it. But I’m not redrafting here, just heavily revising, and I’m going to still aim for my end of July deadline.
None of the work on part 2 will go to waste, either. It’s now the start of book 2 after all. Just means that people will have to wait a little longer to see Larry McNally, that damn leprechaun that started all this.