It’s taken two and a half months longer than I wanted it to take, but the second draft of GET CUPID is now finished and sitting in the inboxes of my agents.
Why did it take so much longer for me to write this book? Part of it has to do with length. The first draft was 100,000 words. The second draft added another 9,000 to that. TARNHELM ended up being 83,000 words or so, even in final draft form. So this book is a third longer than my last one. That means it’s longer to write, and longer to edit. Plus, I went off to Europe for three weeks and didn’t even touch the manuscript while I was gone. That sets you back some, too.
Overall, however, I’m really happy with this book. It’s fun. It’s peppy. It’s got attitude. I tried to do some things with it that I haven’t done in other books yet. For one thing, the magic system is much more complicated and “defined” than my systems usually are. I have some chapters that are third person point of view, a viewpoint I have rarely ventured into. VODNIK ended up being darker than my usual books tend to be, mainly because Tomas is a fairly broody individual. In TARNHELM (still out with editors–no update yet, alas!), I managed to go even broodier. Vee (the main character) has some serious emotional damage, and it comes through strong. But it’s a noir, so that fit the general feel of things.
After that much broody, I was ready for a main character with some pizazz. A guy with a mouth who’d speak up and say what he’s thinking. Someone who had self-confidence in spades. Eldin (be glad I’m not naming your kids, folks) is all that and more. It took me a while to really get to know him. He’s a kleptomaniac, a swindler, a cheat. Someone with a really warped sense of right and wrong–but a really nice guy who’s convinced he has magical powers, though that may or may not be true.
I don’t want to get into it too much, so that’ll do for now.
Where does the book go from here? First my agents get to tear it to shreds. Joshua has seen the outline, but he hasn’t seen the book in draft form at all yet. Back when I was still looking for agents, I’d send Joshua everything I wrote. He always sent back very nice rejection letters. Before I’d send them to him, I’d always think the books were awesomesauce on a stick. Once I got the rejection letters, I’d decide they were actually garbage. The truth, of course, is somewhere in between.
I’m looking forward to his input, because that means I’ll be able to make the book better. And since the book is already awesome, just think of how stunning it’ll be after that. With TARNHELM, I think it took three drafts after Joshua had picked it apart before the book was ready to be sent out to editors. And now, TARNHELM’s been out for 9 months. The process can take a while.
So we’re probably a ways off from seeing the book in print, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned so far at being an author, it’s to celebrate the small successes. There’s always something else to work on or to wait for. For today, I’m just glad the draft is done.
Now to figure out what I should work on next . . .