Technically I started this book over a decade ago while working at a Clinic & Hospital. I toted it around in a notebook and copied pages off for my mother since typing on the electric typewriter (shut up, I couldn’t afford a computer back then) took more time than I had.
Yes, she still has those copied pages buried in a closet somewhere and no matter how much I beg her, she refuses to use them for kindling.
Mothers, you know?
Anyway, seven drafts and a decade later I finally, finally have a completed story.
Many will remember that the original re-write was posted online, chapter by chapter, in 2013 but I hired an editor (like you do) and he loathed the ending so much I had to re-think what I was trying to do with this particular story.
After many nights with mint-chocolate-chip ice-cream, pouring over his notes and sketching outlines (there were at least a dozen before I came up with the one I used) and after an agonizingly long rehabilitation process from the avocado incident in 2014 (I know how to properly core an avocado now, so there’s no worry for me stabbing myself again) I have learned a great deal about the writing process through this one book alone.
First, I learned that editors are worth their weight in gold. Yes, they’re expensive, but I don’t regret the money I’ve laid out.
Second, and this is going to sound weird, but I work better with Courier New font during the draft process and then turning it into Times New at the end. It’s just a quirk of mine.
Third, sticking to a single point of view is hard. At least for me it is. But forcing myself to do this brought the character into more detail, forced me to dig deeper and really explore who she was and how she felt about what was happening.
Fourth, I must be careful of what I’m reading while I’m in the drafting process because my personal style begins to mimic the style of what I’m reading.
Fifth, I am a romance author. I may have Fantasy and Science Fiction and, now, Historical Fiction under my name but in the end, I am a romantic and I want to see my characters find someone who will support and build them up as people. The romance may not be the focal point of the story, but it is there and I refuse to be ashamed of that anymore.
Now then, this does not mean I’m going to start writing straight romance novels. I can’t. I tried that once and ended up with Witch-Born.
It just means that I’m not going to shy away from it anymore.
Love is an integral part of human life.
I mean, even Star Wars has romance in it.
I can write things like that. I enjoy writing things like that, so I’m going to.