I have a good start finally on my sequel, having completed the first chapter and almost done with the third. I still need to go back and complete chapter two, however! The working title is Blood of the Dragon 2, but I hate those type of names where a number is just thrown on the end. Hopefully I’ll have a better title in a few weeks.
You can follow my progress on Twitter. Just click on the link in the sidebar at left.
I’m also making progress with query letters to agents for Blood of the Dragon, and have begun my collection of rejection letters. I always appreciate agents who respond back, even if it’s nothing more than a polite form letter “no.”
My writer’s group has a new assignment. We are trying a game called “The Storymatic.” I drew two character cards: “subject of an interrogation” and “person who steals cats.” I also drew two subject cards: “lightning” and “worst haircut ever.” Now I have to write a short story. I’ll post whatever I come up with here, good or bad!
I started writing the sequel to Blood of the Dragon today after several weeks of research, outlining, and mucho coffee. The outline is not done, so I’m still not certain how this book will end up, but I do have a good idea where it’s going. That’s much of my pleasure in writing: discovering where the story will take me.
You may have heard writers say this before, that they simply uncover a story that’s already there. That’s been true with my efforts in the past, including Blood of the Dragon, where the germ of the story seems to arrive fully formed. The writing process is then like an archaeologist carefully digging for an artifact, dusting it off, cleaning it up until the public can enjoy it.
In the case of my sequel, the story has been formed by research first, the story slowly evolving as I studied the ancient Meso-American cultures of Mexico and the southwest United States (especially the Navajo), and dived into myths and legends of Ireland and China. I love to incorporate tales from our past in my own story, to rewrite them or weave them in.
This has felt more like cooking: so far, I’ve done the prep work like chopping the vegetables and slicing the meat. Now it’s time to see if I can toss the ingredients into a pot and come up with something delicious. Maybe with my next post, I’ll put up the free write exercise that was the key to discovering the plot.
As I tap my toes incessantly, waiting for some kind of response from an agent, I’ve tried going back to my first book, only to realize how much work it’s going to be to rewrite much of the beginning. Sometimes original drafts just stink.
Much more interesting is dreaming about a sequel to my new book, the one that I’m waiting for an agent to read more than the first 10 pages of. Maybe it’s the joy of research (that was not sarcasm!) or maybe it’s the avoidance of hard work. I’m hoping it’s the pull of continuing a story I really had fun writing and not the latter!
Research is fun when I’m learning. So far I’ve gotten to read Navajo myths, look at pictures from ruins at Canyon de Chelly in Arizona and Teotihuacan in Mexico, watch videos of Irish castles (and learn their bloody history), and delve into Chinese folklore.
Plotting is a different matter. It involves asking myself a lot of questions that I don’t have answers for, letting the possibilities bounce through my subconscious like balls in a pachinko machine, and hoping that whatever tumbles out at the bottom is a winner.
I’d like to say I’m participating in NaNoWriMo, but that would imply I’m accomplishing some real writing. So far, this post is the most I’ve achieved this month. LOL!