As the world keeps burning I find myself more often giving my kids the day off from their COVID-19 distance learning and claiming one of my computers for myself. It seems that everybody I know is at least as stressed as I am, and understandably so. Thankfully I have an outlet for that in my writing!
I have one novel that I’ve been editing regularly after deciding that the beginning wasn’t good enough and rewriting it for I think the twenty-thousandth time. I’ve had the cover for over a year, which is at least twice as long as I’ve ever had a cover and not a finalized book to attach it to, and that bothers me. When did I reach the point where my excitement at sharing my stories turned to anxiety? Is that just part of maturing or did I actually let the fear of criticism turn me into a coward? More importantly, can I get that excitement back? We’ll find out I suppose haha
Years ago, while discussing the werewolf/shifter genre of M/M writing, I commented to one of my friends that I haven’t found any that I particularly loved. I only even sort of liked a few and assumed that I simply dislike the subgenre, and to be honest I still have no idea why the usual shifter and were stories don’t appeal to me. They should, they have everything that I go to a book for but for some reason they just don’t draw me in. The problem here is me, not the books.
In the end, he challenged me to write one. Another friend joined in and they laughed, knowing that I cannot refuse a direct challenge. It’s a flaw, I’m working on it. That’s actually how I started writing, now that I think of it.
I wrote three books with wolf shifters. Well, I also wrote one that is complete but I can only really call half of a shifter story. So three and a half? ...I guess?
It’s fine. Point is, I’ve had these books for (Unfortunately) several years. They sit there in my documents folder, festering and pouting, waiting for me to pick them back up and give them the good fierce edits that they deserve and I honestly haven’t had the time or attention span to do that until recently.
Now, two of those books are not even remotely ready. I’m not sure I can even call them books, to be honest. When I write the first draft of a story it reads more like a fever dream. Creating a story only takes me a fifth of the time editing does because I can pour ideas out endlessly and I can write very quickly, but it’s sloppy.
One of the stories is practically done. I could publish this year if I apply myself and nothing goes wrong in my life, but that’s the trick. For nothing to interfere.
The other has a shifter in it as one of the two main characters and his shiftyness is a plot point, but he’s with a Sahrketh man, who is technically a were… So it’s only half shifter? But the other half is a were? Unsure how to catagorize that one but that’s not the point.
I’m currently working on a yet untitled story that stars Luda. He’s a flamboyant outcast that takes care of pets for a living, and has a crush on a human man that he suspects has never noticed him. This story is unlike my other books. Yes it has a few parts that I hope people will bite their nails over, but generally its mood is much lighter than what I feel is my norm. I tried something new, and will continue to try new angles and approaches but to be honest this was hard for me to maintain through an entire book. I’m more of a sarcastic, cynical person than a dreamer. Luda was more difficult for me to write than Calvin was.
The other book that I have a complete but very rough manuscript for is a sister story to the Playing with Tigers series. It’s the story of how two characters in PWT3 meet, because after writing one single scene between them in PWT3, I paused that project to focus on them for a little while. As with Luda, I tried something new and I struggled to make sure it was just right. I’m fairly confident that I succeeded with this one. The book has a lot of uncomfortable charm to it, and I hope it has as much draw as that single scene in Playing with Tigers 3 does. I quite literally wrote five pages with them and fell in love with them. I can’t wait to share them with everyone because I’m sure they’ll love them too.
Well, I’m off to make some tea and get started on my day of battling children and writing.
I’ll post again soon!
S. K. Hart