Way back when I wrote a post asking what I should do about writing my second novel. Would I continue the story of Alexia and company and craft the second volume of the FATES saga, or would I start a whole new story, in case FATES never saw the light of published day? This was coming off of a trip to Writers Digest Conference East, where I came to realize that FATES was not quite ready for prime time yet.
From the response to that post I got, the general consensus was to go with the new story. Far be it from me to question the wisdom of you, dear readers, so that’s exactly what I did. It was hard to step away from the story I had spent the previous three years writing, but I knew it needed to be done. And I really didn’t completely walk away from FATES, I spent a couple of months editing it again in the fall, trying to get it into a more publishable condition. In fact, I’m just about to go back to the grim task of editing FATES one last time before querying again. Please allow Jon Snow and Ygritte to express my joy as I prepare to descend into the Edit Cave once again:
Yeah, not really looking forward to it, but one must do what one must do.
So back to Book Number Two. It began as an idea of roguish type character (Ferris) haunted (and badgered) by the ghost of a prim and proper young woman (Penelope) who he may or not have murdered. It would take place in an inclosed city, half laminated by an artificial sun and the other half cast in eternal darkness.
This novel was also originally called MILADY’S LINGERING SOUL, with the intention of Penelope’s ghost being the centerpiece of the plot, but a I got further along into the narrative, the relationship between Ferris and Penelope became less and less the focus of the story. As more characters were added and the plot grew more complex, I decided to change the name to THE LUMINOSITY OF BLACK. It supposed to be a play on the setting of the novel having one half of the city always in light and other in darkness. And I just thought it sounded cooler.
Writing this novel was different experience than FATES. One, it’s a different genre, though not taking place on Earth, it’s more of an urban fantasy / steampunk (solarpunk more accurately) rather than epic fantasy. It’s also about half as long as FATES was in it’s first draft and took less that a year to write, whereas FATES too over three. The cast is smaller and the scope of the plot in much more focused. There’s still three points of view represented here, like in FATES, and the do intersect at points, just like in FATES, but the narrative is a little tighter, I think.
There was a time when writing FATES where I thought – this is the one story I need to tell. This is the only story I have and if I can’t get this published, then I should just forgo the rest of this writing endeavor. I thought I’lll never be able to devote the kind of passion, time and energy into a tale that didn’t include Alexia, Kenji and their companions. How could I? This was the story I’ve had in my head for ten years, finally put to print after all these years of procrastinating. How could I find the same drive for another story?
Yeah, not so much. As I continued writing LUMINOSITY, I found the same love for Ferris and the rest of this cast that I have from the characters in FATES. They’ve become just more members of the big happy People My Brain Made family. This was a lesson for me, penning this second novel, that if you put the work in, if you put yourself in front of that keyboard and pound way day after day, new stories will come.
It’s not easy, some of those days are going to be terrible, some of those days are going to make you feel like this:
The words will not come easy on those days, but they will come. And with them more characters, more places, and more stories than you ever thought possible.
And that, my dear readers, is a wonderful feeling.