How is your November going? This has been one of my best ones yet! If you know anything about NaNoWriMo, then you know that today is the halfway mark of the month, and guess what? I’m halfway through the first draft of Witch Hunt! (Have you been following the first draft on Wattpad? I posted two chapters on the first day and then one chapter every day since then, so today, we’re up to chapter sixteen! And Heather fans will love the latest chapter.)
When I started the month, I set myself a pretty ambitious goal. I wanted to write three thousand words a day, to complete a full chapter, and get as close as I could to writing the whole book before the month was over, at just about ninety thousand words–almost double the regular NaNoWriMo goal of 50K. (If you’ve read Small Town Witch, that’s just shy of 86K.) I had no idea if I would actually be able to maintain that pace for long. But today I passed the 45K mark, and I feel like I’m halfway through the plot as well, so I’m right on track to finish.
It’s been very exciting so far, but also challenging in new ways. After I wrote the first book, I felt like I needed a break for a while. Now I’m happy to get back to Rosa’s world and I’m falling in love with the story all over again.
At first, I was nervous, because I didn’t know if I could pull off a sequel that would still keep to the spirit of the original. But once I got started, then I remembered just how much fun it is to write about Madrone. It’s like writing about my own child/teen years, except there are faeries and kitsune and fancy parties. What’s not to love?
And once I embraced the idea of continuing Rosa’s story, I realized that I had ideas that didn’t quite make it into the first book that would fit well for me to reuse them now. It’s always hard to cut stuff from my work, so I make sure to save it in an extra folder. Now I can save those little gems from the trash pile, polish them up so they’re even better, and give them a new home.
There are some things that I’m still worried about, though. Will I really be able to live up to the promise of the first book? I know that I left a lot of questions after the ending. Of course, I’m planning on this being a trilogy, so not all of the questions will be answered in this book, either. And eek, trilogy? I know what you’re thinking: the second book is just going to be the “mushy middle”, the “sophomore slump” which just moves events along and doesn’t resolve anything to leave you hanging for the final book. Many people hate part 2 of 3. (I don’t always feel this way myself–I think my favorite Star Wars movie is probably The Empire Strikes Back.)
For the time being, though, I’m going to keep chugging along with what I’m doing and ignore my self-doubt. I can always fix it during revision, right? But I can’t fix what I have finished. If I do manage to get all the way through this draft, that will be a major accomplishment, and I’m trying to just hang on during this wild ride.
I am also open to input! If you read the story, please comment and give me feedback on what you think of it so far. Maybe you’ll see plot holes or inconsistencies that I missed. Anything you say will help me once I start working on revision to make the story better.
Witch Hunt is available on Wattpad for free now (and will probably remain up through the end of the year, but I’ll take it down when I am revising for publication). Follow the link!