February is almost half over and when it comes to writing, other than a few blog posts, I don’t have much more to show for it. It’s not from a lack of trying. You’ve heard me moan about it before, but if I don’t have a good grasp on an idea in my head and the muse isn’t talking, it’s hard for me to remain focused on a concept for a novel. I know. I know. I sound like a fucking monkey. Give me a typewriter and sooner or later I’ll write a damn novel.
One such idea has already gone to rest that way just last month. I sat down and wanted to write it but the story just wasn’t working for me and I knew it wasn’t time to tell it. Not now. I moved on to another old idea I’ve been toying with and thought that was going to be the one that really got this month going, but I now know that’s not going to happen.
There are two main reasons. The first is because I don’t think I’ve given the novel much thought as to how I was going to get the main character to go where I wanted to take him. I’m being vague here on purpose, but the book has to do with time travel.
It’s an amazing idea that I’ve at least started and have a few good chapters down, but when it comes to moving forward I feel lost. So, I’ve got research to do before I think I can devote myself to finishing this book. So, I’m filing it back away for a bit.
The second reason is because my editor recently asked if I still wanted her to devote any time to the book I finished in 2013 which is a sequel to my second book, Stealing Wishes. It’s called “Feeling Himself Forgotten.” Huh? Wha? I have a finished book in my possession? Why, yes! Yes, I do! And by now that book was feeling forgotten too!
I originally started writing this book about this time of year back in 2012 but abandoned it halfway through when I got slapped in the head with the idea for Dickinstein. So I stopped writing it and picked up Dickinstein instead which I pounded out in eight weeks.
I wouldn’t go back to writing “Feeling Himself Forgotten” until 2013 when I finished it. The following year I thought I’d found a home for it with an Ebook publisher, but that fell through a year later in 2015.
By then, I’d hit a wall with writing all together due to family matters and didn’t really care if I ever wrote or published another book again. But I’m determined to make things better this year. So, I told my editor, yeah, we’re gonna do this!
I told my editor I knew there were issues in the story line that had to be fixed. I love using puzzles, clues, anagrams, and twists in my writing and had done just that in a huge scene in the opening chapter. The last time I read that piece it was horrible. I knew it had to be taken out. It was too cliché and I knew readers either wouldn’t get it or they’d rake me over the coals in their reviews for it.
So, I decided to sit down with the manuscript again and start over with a good final edit. I tried this about a year ago and couldn’t even finish. I just wasn’t in the mood to do it. But now feels good and feels different. So, that’s where I’m at right now. I’m polishing the manuscript and plan to have it to my editor by March.
The best part is that as I’m reading it now it still feels new to me and I get excited going on the journey with these characters again. That’s probably some of the best advice I’d give to another writer too. Don’t be afraid to finish a novel and then just let it sit for a long time without touching it. Hell, this book has been sitting for almost 3 years! I did that with another book once and got the same feeling when I picked it back up years later.
As for “Feeling Himself Forgotten,” keep your fingers crossed because I really want to publish it this year. It’s funny. It’s heartfelt. And it continues the story of Auden and Blaine a year after Stealing Wishes ended.