Look, I don’t know either, okay, so don’t come to me for answers. These things just happen.
I was up in Maine for Erin’s wedding this weekend, and obviously, I didn’t get any reading or writing done. As the maid of honor, I had a heck ton of stuff to do. But we did get a few hours of just us on Friday and were able to chat about writing, and we had one of those conversation that basically sums up my writing life.
Me: I started writing that hiking novel.
Erin: Of course you did.
Erin: Listen, I can’t keep up with you. You write too fast.
Me: I don’t expect you to! It’s obnoxious.
Erin: Yes. Yes, it is.
So today I decided to write 7k for the bookstore romance. And Wednesday night before I drove up to Maine the following day, I decided to stay up late and start the hiking novel. Like, why, Mary? Why?
No one knows, including myself.
I was then telling Erin that I felt about these three one-shot novels the same way I did about non-Marvel fanfiction. In college, pretty much all I wrote was Marvel fanfiction, but very occasionally, I’d have a surge of inspiration for something else–mostly Supernatural or Panic! at the Disco–and I’d give those stories a quick go. It was like taking a break from writing by writing. Yeah. But it feels very similar with these three novels. (Is it just three, or is there one I’m forgetting?) The Saintsverse is kind of all-encompassing. While yes, I am currently editing the Pen boys and working on its third draft, I don’t think I’ll be writing the second one anytime soon. I do think that I’ll need to end up writing all the planned novels in the Saintsverse (good grief that’s a lot of novels) before I can dive into another series. But I don’t always want to be with those characters, so these three individual novels feel like a break from that. Don’t want to write about the adventures of Julian Mallory, king of the sea? Fine, write about an accidentally summoned demon who likes to wear Converse and skinny jeans. Whatever.
By started the hiking novel, I really only mean I wrote, like, half a chapter. A quarter of it at best. I introduced Luca and Grey, and by extension, the others. Theirs is going to be a fun story because it’s non-magic, and it’s only one book, both things that I’m not good at. But, Mary! you cry. What about the sister witches! That has magic, but it’s only one book!
Yeah, I thought it was only one book, too. It’s definitely not a series, but it’s probably also not one. Two, maybe? I’ve grown very fond of duologies. We’ll see.
THIS BLOG IS NOT ABOUT EITHER OF THOSE, FOR THE LOVE OF
So I wrote 7k for the bookstore romance today.
Good grief, the aesthetic for this novel is literally just my aesthetic. Books upon books upon books. With a little bit of ocean thrown in. And a few sad boys.
It’s really weird writing this book. It comes like great big gasps of air. When I first wrote it, I wrote the first three chapters (so the first 7k) all in one go. I then decided to dash out a quick 2k at a random point when I was frustrated with Saints at sea and didn’t return to it until today, when I wrote the next 7k all in one go. Maybe that’s how this novel will get written? I’ll just spend a day writing 7k, call it quits for a couple of weeks, and then come back and do it all over again. I mean, I’m okay with that. It’s almost like writing a fanfic.
These characters are really interesting, too. They’re not quite what I originally planned them out to be. I thought Will was going to be sad and quiet and make everyone sigh at him, but he’s actually kind of snarky and willing to go out dancing when his girlfriends want to and like stupid fond of books. I mean, I knew he was going to be a book lover, but my goodness, not to this extent. We have so much in common, it’s wonderful.
And then there’s Emilien, whose name I have a love/hate relationship with, just like he does. I wanted to give him a nice French name that bothers him to no end because Emilien? Seriously? I need to give him a really solid middle name, too, because his last name is Bellerose, and man, that honestly just rolls off the tongue so nicely. Emilien Bellerose. Maybe a one-syllable middle name. We’ll see. I expected him to be kind of not a book lover and like Will’s foil, but, much like Will, he’s proven me wrong. Where I thought he would be tough and hiding his feelings, he’s instead very soft and honest with himself. Where I thought he would bemoan about Will always toting a book around, he actually usually has one, too. He’s an enigma, that boy, and I’m enjoying getting to know him very much.
There are other characters that I’ve definitely not given enough attention–Eve, Carter, the twins Jolene and Liana–characters that I’m fighting tooth and nail with–Leo, UGH–characters that haven’t been introduced yet–Jude, Will’s mother–and characters that I’m definitely falling in love with and it’s showing–Violette and Nicolas, Emilien’s parents–and it’s a lot of fun.
I don’t know where this is going. I don’t particularly care. It’s not like the Saintsverse, which is so vast and wild and needs a lot of brain power. It’s just some boys in love, and they’re kind of stupid about it sometimes. It’s about sadness and overcoming fear. It’s got a lot of books in it. It’s my insides set loose on paper a little. The quiet version of me that reads Rilke and drinks tea while listening to Sanders Bohlke and dreams of Sam Roth.
Speaking of Sanders Bohlke, I leave you with one of his songs in closing because I’ve been listening to it nonstop for the past two days: