It was a cold November; and my student house did not keep in the heat. Mould grew in patches around my bedroom window and even swept across the skirting board by the wardrobe. In between assignments and lectures, I sat down to my laptop each day, and cranked out my first attempt at a novel.
The journey had begun.
Winter 2009: I wrote ‘Variations of Light.’ It was, at its core, a 50k re-write of a book I’d just finished reading. But it got my hands used to typing…
Summer 2010: ‘Seven Sisters‘ was written: a 93k ‘sequel’ of VoL. Using the characters I had made, but shifting the world and changing much of the stolen material, I devised a story I one day plan to finish.
Winter 2010: ‘Resilience‘, was my first attempt at a story with more realistic setting. I love the idea, but making the story work has been tricky. I return to this project about once a year because the motivation is there, but my ability to manage the various sub-plots and pacing in this one still alludes me.
Winter 2011: For National Novel Writing Month, I just scraped 50k with ‘Firefly‘. I didn’t like the story by the end, and count this as “learning to write” piece.
Spring 2012: ‘Planes Shifter: Wings of Skell‘ was my first ‘proper’ novel — complete at 118k, not plagiarised and a story I actually liked.
Winter 2012: While unemployed, I wrote the sequel to Planes Shifter, which became known as ‘Planes Walker,’ which was completed in 28 days at 80k. This is still my fastest turnaround of a first draft.
Spring 2013: ‘Shadow Sight‘ began as I struggled with my first day-job in social care. I might return to this, but it doesn’t spark that fire for me since I left the profession, thus remains unfinished. I may re-use one of the ideas in another book though.
Winter 2013: ‘Kindling‘ is unfinished, but a story I’m really fond of, and want to make work when I can balance the story lines.
Spring 2014: When I realised I was technically on my 24th draft of ‘editing’ Planes Shifter, I decided to strip it down and re-write it entirely. I moved the starting point, melded superfluous characters and made the plot something I’d actually want to read about: creating ‘Darkening Skies.’ I finished this draft at 88k.
Autumn 2014: Having planned this story for 6 months, including finding pictures of my characters and really world-building my magic system, I completed ‘The Felled Gods‘ at 52k, knowing I had a lot of description and another sub-plot to flesh out. At the first editing pass, the word count has risen to 63k.
Spring 2015: My short story “The Night of Awen” was published in the anthology Twice Upon A Time.
Winter 2015: I enjoyed taking part in National Novel Writing Month as a means to kick-start my writing. I’d had this idea but didn’t know what to do with it. Sometimes, a wordcount target and the knowledge that others are writing with you can bring a story into the world. The first draft of ‘Fury’s Seal‘ finished at around 50k.
Spring 2016: With a lot of life-stresses around me, I started writing ‘Skeletal‘ earlier than planned so that I could ensure I was still making time to write. This will come together across 2016.
Spring 2016: My short story “The Coyote” was published in the anthology Fight Like A Girl.
Winter 2016: During National Novel Writing Month, I passed 50,000 words of “Planes Daughter“ [sequel to Planes Walker, and Planes Shifter] on day 28. I’ll commence the full draft after the full edits of the book which comes before it.