Wednesday, October 2, 2013

IWSG: My MS Is An Iceberg!

I have some wonderful things to announce this month and one thing to ask advice on.

A Shadow Story's MC Lividia Blackwell
First, I have a CP - I finally have a CP! You know how when you were younger and that one kid on the block always got the ten-speed first whether he was big enough to ride it or not? I felt like that watching my writer friends with their CPs who later helped them get their agents. I thought if I could only find myself one (and a good one) then the rest would fall into place a lot more quickly. Well, now I have one! In your face, Johnny Ten-Speed!

I've had the MS for my YA Victorian Fantasy novel written for some time, and even queried it, but this past year I realized I needed to work on it some more, including adding maybe 10k more words. It's the first in a series and a hard thing to approach without the rest planned out. It's an expansive series - moreso than I realized when I wrote the first book. It also includes pen and ink illustrations scattered throughout the prose. The more time passes, the more it grows, and the more the backstories of the characters unfold and influence the plot.

This is both a good thing and a bad thing. The good is that the story is still writing and illustrating itself, even though I don't have it physically written. The bad is that I don't know how long it'll take before it's finished enough for me to query the first book again. I queried prematurely and ultimately didn't get anywhere because the first book is like the tip of an iceberg. I need to discover how deep it goes. (It also sinks other creative ideas that come near it.)

I've written fantasy before, and sequential short stories, but this is the first project of this scale I've undertaken. When it's finished I expect it to span more than a trilogy (unless the books are HUGE), but I'll have to see what the plotting reveals. I'm also a pantser, so this is an even taller order for me.

Have you written a complex fantasy series before? How did you query your first book? Did you finish your world-building and plan the rest of the series before you could?


8 comments:

  1. i write medieval fantasy, and my world and story are pretty complex. i like the idea of Victorian fantasy.

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  2. What you're going through with the first book of your series sounds like what I went through with mine. My unpublished series is a supernatural-thriller thought, but there was some world building. I was actually writing the fourth and last book of my series while I was also fixing the first book. It seemed every time I thought it was done, I'd realize something was wrong. I was always so aggravated, but it was actually a good thing I noticed those things before it was too late. And yes, I had been querying it at the time. I learned to always listen to my gut. If it's telling you something is wrong, something probably is wrong. Take your time and don't rush the process. You might be writing another book in the series and still developing the first. That is okay! GOOD LUCK!! :)

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  3. I have been world building since I was 15 and still haven't written the story yet. It is harder than writing a modern story or a historical one for sure. Love the art btw.

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  4. That's cool it's expanded into several books. And you realize that. (I had no idea when my first book came out that I'd write two sequels - trust me, that's worse.)
    Congratulations on the critique partner and welcome to the IWSG!

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  5. Thanks, Brandon. You're right about world-building taking so long. I shouldn't feel so rushed about it. It'll be worth it in the end.

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  6. Thanks! I'm glad you could fix the first book. It would have been far worse if you'd felt like fixing it and it had gotten published already. (that's admittedly one of my fears, so it's good it's still in process.)

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  7. thanks. Medieval fantasy won't ever stop being classic.

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I'd love to hear what you have to say!

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