Wednesday, May 9, 2012

You Mustn't Be Afraid to Dream a Little Bigger, Darling

I finished up Tidal last week, so I'm working on edits today (my own and Eric's), and then I'll send it off to my editor for her to begin her edits.

I wrote the outline for Elegy last night. That's the last book in the Watersong series, and it's weird to be writing it now. Or getting ready to write it, as it were. I mean, I'm really excited about it, and I loved working on Tidal, and I think I'll really love writing Elegy. But it's just weird to be at the end, you know?

My new goal in life is that I will never again publish the first book in the series before I have written the last book in the series. What I mean is that if/when I ever publish a series again, it will be complete before I start publishing. Wake won't hit bookshelves until this summer, and the entire Watersong series will be written by then.

The reason for this two-fold:

1. It is much harder to write when you have the reader in your ear. It's not that I don't think of you guys when I write or try to keep my audience in my mind. But it's hard to think and plot when you're remembering readers saying, "I love Betty but I wish she were taller or smarter and she should totally hook up with Jerry," and other readers saying "I hate everything about Betty except how short she is and if she hooks up with Jerry I'm going to shoot myself in the face." (Fact: I have actually received messages from fans saying they would shoot themselves in the face or kill themselves if the characters didn't do things the way they wanted.)

Part of the reason I've had so much fun writing these Watersong books is because I have no idea what anybody's opinions are on anything. I'm writing because I love it and I like where the story is going. I've taken input from previous books, and I'm applying it to my writing in general. But that's not the same as people threatening suicide over characters.

And it's not that I don't like critiques. I love getting notes back from my editor, and I love working on different angles and improving the book. I just like not feeling like I have somebody standing over my shoulder while I write.

2. The series will be complete, which means that readers won't really have to worry about if/when the subsequent books will come out. It's just a matter of getting them ready and releasing them. And then if something happens to me - God forbid - the series is still complete. (Before Stephen King finished the Dark Tower series, I used to have nightmares that he would die and I would never know how it ended).

Anyway, I'm going to back to my editing, since it's my job, and I want to do it.

But I'm going to leave you with my favorite quote from any movie ever. I'm literally considering getting tattooed somewhere, but since I don't know where I would put it, I probably won't. But then again, I might.

P. S. Ascend was #25 on the USA Today Best Seller list, and the Trylle Trilogy was #3 on NY Times Children's Series Best Sellers list. Thank you to everyone who picked up a copy, and to everyone for being so crazy supportive!