It has recently come to my attention that this is supposed to be a writer’s blog, yet I rarely talk about either writing or books. I’m thinking I want to change that. Not that I’ll quit writing my other posts about the Bible and Christian life. I’m far too opinionated to give that up. *smile*
But today I’m going to talk about my work-in-progress (or WIP in writer’s jargon).
It started almost seven years ago in 2010 when I got to thinking about the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale and how it might look without magic. One day in August, I took pencil to notebook paper in every spare minute between doing my schoolwork. In two days, I had ten college-ruled pages full of cursive handwriting. I called it “The Kingdom of Light.”
That was the framework. I typed it up and worked on it, polishing it and expanding it for several years. When I started writing seriously in 2013, I set “The Kingdom of Light” aside in favor of another story. But last spring, I got the urge to work on it again. I had learned so much about writing, and I wanted to apply all my new knowledge to this little story that I loved so much. (Even if it was in terrible shape. ‘Tis a good thing that original story will never see a printing press.)
I loved the characters, and I started thinking about what happened to them after the story. How many children would Prince Phillip and Princess Aurora have? What would they be like? How would their parents’ strange past affect them?
That’s how I met Dierk, eldest son of Phillip and Aurora. It has been almost a year since I started working on his story. I wove the original “Kingdom of Light” story into Dierk’s journey, and I changed the title to Prince of Sunland. The book grew.
Yesterday, I completed my revisions. The word count is over 85,000 words. Today I got the manuscript printed and spiral-bound so I can see it on paper.
I’m more than a little excited.
I’ve never finished a project of that length before. I actually have a two-hundred-page novel that goes from beginning to end, following a reasonable coherent path. In some ways, I feel this book is nothing new. “There is nothing new under the sun,” you know. But I still love it.
Of course, this is just one milestone on the path to publication. But I believe in celebrating milestones (I’m making homemade ice cream tonight for the occasion).
And if you’re wondering what’s next for Prince of Sunland: well, I’m sending it through my critique group. Then I’ll do another round of revisions based on my critique partners’ feedback.
Then I’ll hire a professional editor because I dare not trust my own brain alone to make this book the best it can be. I’m a tiny bit scared to see how long it will take me to put the book back together after the editor’s done.
Then I’ll have the book formatted, and I’ll hire someone to design the cover.
And then, Lord-willing, I’ll publish it myself. Because it looks like I’ll be an independent author. My books probably won’t be available in bookstores, just online. I’ll publish an ebook and a print version. My head spins just thinking about all that.
But I’m excited because I love this story, and right now, the dream seems possible. Not easy, mind you. But possible, if it’s what the Lord wants.
Already I have two sequels percolating in my head. Hopefully they won’t take eight years to come to life!
I still have much to learn. But it’s a good journey. Thanks for following with me.