After some two years, the first book of my magical girl (urban fantasy/paranormal) trilogy, Starlight, is complete! Well, the first draft is. Now comes a second draft and many edits in readiness for… well, something I’ll announce in another post, something I’ll be needing some help with. But before that, I want to chat a bit about what I learned while writing this book.
First, the most obvious thing: I suck at maintaining schedules where I have to actively write something on a week by week basis. It’s part of my general personality, I switch between projects pretty frequently, writing one thing for a day or two, then another thing for another day or two, and so on. If I’m not feeling a particular work, I find it helpful to write something else for a while.
Needless to say, that doesn’t work so well for something I was intending to have published weekly like Starlight. The story that will be replacing Starlight for the Saturday slot, a slice of life yuri fantasy I’ll talk about in a moment, will be easier to deal with on that front. Why? Because it’s slow-paced slice of life that will focus on a different character or situation each week, making it easier to write in small chunks.
Starlight was a fast-paced novel with continual forward momentum and required a lot of foreknowledge of how the later events would go—knowledge I had, I always have a solid grasp of the shape of things in my mind regardless of whatever notes I keep—but the individual scenes to get to those later story beats were largely written as I went.
Foreshadowing and hints as to future events were placed as necessary because I already had those figured out (though they can definitely be improved), but some weeks would see me dithering on what to write for entire days at a time, making for horrible delays.
That’s to say nothing of my personal situation, which I won’t bore you with here. Suffice to say that I don’t have a home right now and am intruding on family, which isn’t exactly conducive to being able to write interrupted. I’m getting that sorted out right now, but it’s still something I have to bear in mind for my writing life.
The other major thing I learned is that I need way more practice in certain areas of writing. Normally I write pretty light-hearted yuri romance stories (Aida, for example), which have minimal conflict and instead focus on fun characters and situations with a healthy dose of humour arising from the interactions between characters. Starlight was my first real foray into something with more serious conflict.
With Book 2 of the trilogy effectively being my Empire Strikes Back, the experience of writing Book 1 will help a great deal, given it’ll have a much darker and more serious tone. The girls will have to confront aspects of themselves they might not like much, will have to really come together as a team to survive a harsh environment, and will have to conquer one or two pretty serious personal demons from their past. And I can’t wait 😀
But while it’s true that I’m super pumped for Book 2, I also need a break so I can write some other things for a while. And, more importantly, so that Book 2 can be published without missing any beats, and that means writing the whole thing in advance this time. So that’s a project for much later this year.
Note, if you want to read the whole book, now would be a good time (link at the start of the post, no account needed to read). My plans for the book will necessitate unpublishing it for a period of 45 days, meaning you won’t be able to read it until those 45 days are up. If you have knowledge of indie publishing, you can probably guess what I’m planning for Starlight based on this 😉
I mentioned another project I’m planning to replace Starlight with, now it’s finished, so let’s talk about that quickly. It should be obvious to anyone with even a cursory knowledge of my works that I love slice of life stories with minimal conflict, so you probably won’t be surprised to learn that’s what the new work will be. There will be some conflict and drama—some pretty serious stuff, in fact—but mostly it’s going to be fairly fluffy.
The setting is fantasy with some level of magic, but less focused on systematic magic (casting fireballs and the like using a complex system of magical rules or similar) and more on magical technology. Primarily the story will be set around a trio of islands off the coast of a major city and the cast of characters who live there, as seen from the point of view of the main girl; an adventurous 18 year old from the city who feels like she wants a change of pace from the largely restrictive life she leads there.
I also have another story in the works, something far-future and sci-fi (and by far, I mean far, like year 3000 far) involving lesbian girls in a survival situation, but I’ll put a post up on that project at a later date. The aforementioned fantasy work will be coming in the next couple of weeks, so if you enjoy that type of story, stay tuned!