I can now call myself a novelist
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
Almost ten years ago, I attended my first writing conference.
Eight years ago, I started my first novel - a sweeping epic fantasy with magic and demons, dragons, mind control...
Two years ago, after the annual Rocky Mountain Fiction Writer's conference, my best friend was listening to me go on about the Urban Fantasy writers I had spent my time with, and the many UF books I was reading and she said "If you're spending so much time with these people, why aren't you writing Urban Fantasy."
I said "Umm.... I don't know."
I looked through my "trunk stories" and found an origin story for my City of Heroes charater - a dark telepath based loosely on The Shadow pulp and radio character. That was the beginning of Deadly Nightshade. I sketched out plots and made charts and sticky notes. I analyzed the works of Jim Butcher and Charlaine Harris for structure. I spent hours on TVTropes.com learning what standards of the genre I wanted to include and which I wanted to avoid. I filled a composition notebook with my ideas.
A year ago, I wrote the first chapter of Deadly Nightshade. I planned to be done in about 16 weeks.
Yesterday, 51 weeks to the day from the time I wrote the first word of "Deadly Nightshade," it is complete. I dedicated my Labor day to finishing.
I typed the final lines as quickly as I had typed the first. I had known all along exactly what the ending was going to be.
Loch put an arm around my shoulder. "Come on, Nightshade. Let's go home."
"Don't call me that," I said. "The Nightshade is dead."
Victory! I have completed it. 78,000 words. It needs fixing. It's still only what I'd call a draft, not ready for public consumption. But it's there. I've written a novel.
It feels AMAZING!