Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

March IWSG: On Celebrating the Writing

After three years of research and writing, and another half a year spent in deep revision, my latest novel is complete and published. In Rivers of Stone, my intrepid heroine, disguised as a boy, treks across 19th Century Canada during the fur trading era on a quest to find her husband.

I can't say we exactly celebrated this achievement because we were too busy packing our suitcases.

On January 8, we dashed off to the Yucatan and the beautiful, quiet colonial town of Merida to escape winter snow. After seven weeks in Mexico, somehow between visiting Mayan ruins, exploring Yucatecan cuisine, and bird-watching flamingos, my next writing project emerged.

Source: Wikipedia
I'm excited because so much of this project is new. I've got a title, The Seventh Tapestry, a blurb, a draft cover, an expanded plot summary, and I'm beginning to work on character sketches. The work seems to go slowly because my normal process is more intuitive, rather like a flea jumping from scene to scene instead of working up a more formal plot summary. But inspired by Randy Ingermanson's Snowflake method, my characters are starting to breathe. They have their own quirks.

After writing three novels set in mid-19th Century, this new project is taking me in totally different directions. I wanted to work on a lighter story, something contemporary, maybe easier to write, more entertaining, and with that elusive happy-ever-after ending. Now the story is pulling together exotic locales (Edinburgh and Paris), characters who are risk takers but still willing to fall in love, and the plot plays out against the backdrop of antiquities sold illegally on the black market. At odd moments, I wonder: "Can I do justice to this story?"

This month's ISWG question asks, "How do you celebrate completing a story?" Don't we all have those moments of sheer joy, that sense of accomplishment as we hit each deadline and cross each benchmark?

As an indie writer, after the writing and revision is complete, I need to identify those action steps that lead to successful publishing and marketing the finished novel. That 'first blush' celebratory moment doesn't last very long. If I'm lucky, it transforms to an underlying sense that all is well. I move on to the next story, hopefully keeping all else in balance.

May the month be a good one for you. 

Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh and to those stalwart assistants -- Mary Aalgaard, Bish Denham, Jennifer Hawes, Diane Burton, and Gwen Gardner -- for facilitating this month's Insecure Writer's Support Group! keep writing. Or, at the least, planning that next story.