A few weeks ago, I finished my first novel.
At first, I wasn't quite sure what to do with myself, whether I should start working on the hazy idea I had for a sequel, or polish a few short stories I've written in the last six months, or just take a breather from writing for a few weeks. All I knew was, my novel would be unopened for at least six weeks, so I can separate myself from it enough to edit it the way it deserves.
So, on a whim, I opened up the folder of story ideas that I add to every so often. There, at the top, was the (failed) plot for my first novel, the one that I gave up on after fumbling my way about a third of the way through it in 2010. I got to thinking about that story, and how I missed my two main characters, and I missed the setting (Deep East Texas, where Cade and I lived for two years).
Alright, I thought. I'll give it a try.
Fast forward two days. After starting from scratch and taking the story in a completely different direction than before, I'm about 5,000 words in.
What's kind of strange is starting a new novel, after working with about 40,000 words for over a year. With Sever, I had a framework in place when I re-started working on it in late 2011. That framework changed a lot, but it still gave me something to go on. Looking over the framework for TWoB (a working title), though, it all has to go. Everything except for the most basic plot.
At the same time, it's liberating. With Sever, by the time I was finished, I felt like I'd just been on a rollercoaster. Starting over, with TWoB, I'm back on the rollercoaster, but I'm at the part where I'm strapping myself in and being told to keep my arms and legs inside at all times. There's a tension to it - I know the ride will start, and I'll cruise up for a bit, then plunge into absolute chaos - but there's excitement, too.
I guess we'll see where this one takes me.