Graciousanne asked: I always love reading about different writers processes in writing a first draft. I know you can’t say much about the third Hunter Kiss book but i was wondering how long it took you to write the first draft of it? Do you have any rituals during the writing of a first draft?
Someone once said, “You never learn how to write a novel. You only learn how to write the novel you’re writing NOW.” It’s very true. The process is also highly individual, which makes generalities even more dangerous…
That’s it in a nutshell. Every book is different. Every book requires a different mindset. The point is to adjust, adapt, advance. You don’t stop writing until the book is done. Even in those moments that feel insurmountable—and I’ve had quite a few—you find some way to keep going. One foot in front of the other.
The walls are the worst. I’ve hit the wall in some books. It’s hard to describe unless you’ve been there, but it feels like an actual physical wall in your heart and head—smooth, endless, with not even the smallest toehold. And you think, “How the hell am I going to get around this thing? How do I keep moving forward?” And not just with the book, but with your life—because when you immerse yourself as much as I do, the book doesn’t become your life, but a stalled book does affect your life. It’s your work, your career. When things go bad at work, you think about it at home. The same is true here.
I forget this, of course, once the book is done. Every book that I begin to write is a new set of extraordinary possibilities. It’s magic.
A WILD LIGHT, the third Hunter Kiss book, wasn’t as difficult to write as THE IRON HUNT and DARKNESS CALLS, but I did hit some stumbling blocks. I write by the seat of my pants, though I did try to plan a little in this one. What happened, though, was that I wrote much of the first draft—and then decided, after a conversation with my editor, that the climax of the book should actually come in the middle of the story. It just worked better, and it set up a much more interesting story for Maxine. Of course, that also required some heavy rewrites—but it was totally worth it.
It took me a couple months to write the book. Maybe three or so. That’s about average for me. No rituals for A WILD LIGHT, just perseverance and love for the characters.
Here’s an excerpt:
And, here’s a daisy from my morning walk. It’s been lovely out, lately.