I can’t believe I’m drafting this on a Saturday, but now that my characters have been reunited, I’m hella excited about writing, and I just want all the romance. This story is, first and foremost, a romance, and my characters have been separated for the first half of the book–which, I saw a tweet recently that was like “oh your characters just got together in the first book and you separated them in the second, how about not??” and I feel SO CALLED OUT–so I am ready for them to snuggle again. Also, I’ve got my Earl Grey, I just spent twenty minutes scrolling through tea and making an alarmingly long list of what I need to order soon, and I’m all cozied up, so why the heck not.
Sim, I’ve got to keep this up from now on. I just reread the chapter I wrote yesterday and edited it, which is how I normally write, and even if I’m flying by the seat of my pants on the plot for this book, I need to maintain some of my typical routine because, otherwise, I’m going to fall into the hole I did last week with needing to reread 60k in two days so I can figure out what the hell I was up to. I only added 126 words to the last chapter, but it’s immediately put me in the right mindset, e sim, I’m going to rec you music this early:
This book has been tricky with music because I generally have set music for the overall story, often individually for couples, and specific mood songs for different scenes. But, because this takes place in the 30s, a lot of what the characters listen to is period-specific classical music, particularly given that Freddie plays the piano & cello, and so, most of what I’ve been listening to is Bomtempo and da Motta. The reading for it is tricky, too, because I’ve already read all the Natasha Pulley that’s out there in the world, and her aesthetic is what inspired me to work on this story, so instead, I’ve been diving into Pessoa & Rilke, and it’s all just very not what I’m usually doing.
I finally settled on Ruelle for music, though, and she’s definitely been what I turn to 99% of the time, but I still didn’t have a specifically Freddie & Hugo song, and it was bumming me out–until now! Slow Fade by MILCK is definitely that song, both because of the lyrics, the vibe, just everything. It fits for them so well, and I’m so happy I’ve finally got a song that I can just put on repeat endlessly for their scenes. Thus, I’ve been listening to it all morning while rereading yesterday’s chapter, though I am going to change it now because Freddie’s about to have a nightmare (someday, I’ll leave this poor boy alone, but today is not that day), and I need my Ruelle back.
Tudo bem, well, I said I was going to make Freddie have a nightmare, but his demon (literally) had something else to say about that, so this was actually a surprisingly peaceful chapter. I just crossed the 70k mark on the book, though, which means I’ve only got about 50k left, so things are going to get hectic again pretty soon because I’ve got a) a legit exorcism to perform, not just the torturous ones Freddie’s been subjected to, and b) the Vatican to defeat. Not, like, in its entirety, because that would be quite a statement for this book to make, but just so they’ll leave Freddie the hell alone. And so, while our main villain was defeated recently, this is really just the eye of the storm right now. Don’t worry, this will 100% have a happy ending, but they’re gonna suffer a bit first!
Daily word count: 3,863
Total word count: 36,230
What a night, honestly. The tl;dr of it is that we’re all okay, but our stove tried to explode. My dad & brother were both absolute idiots for running straight toward a fire, and also just so damn brave because they definitely saved our kitchen, and potentially our house, from something much worse. Between my dad literally turning into the Hulk and yanking the whole stove away from the wall and Tommy just hauling ass with a fire extinguisher, we’re only down a stove, the air smells like burnt plastic, and we had to throw away a bunch of food that my mom had just finished cooking, but all of the people & animals are okay, and that’s what matters.
And holy hell, I am so glad that I’m past all the chaos in my book so that I have something nice and gentle to write today.
Well, that was about as cozy a chapter as I’ve ever written, and it was wonderful. The third act has officially begun, I crossed 75k, and I’ve got three major plot points left. It was a hell of a time trying to write this morning, what with everything going on, but I finally managed to settle into a groove and get it done, and I’m glad I did. I feel much more centered now.
Daily word count: 3,778
Total word count: 40,008
And would you look at that! Only 10k words left until 50k, which I will definitely hit this week, so that’s exciting.
I spent a solid ten minutes in the frozen section of the grocery store last night just staring around blankly as I tried to figure out what I could make without a stove or an oven. I settled on crockpot chili, but wow, that was hard! I had to make it this morning, though, and let it sit for four hours so it’ll be ready for lunch, so I’m just now sitting down to write an hour after I normally do, and even then, there are so many other things that I want to do. I’ve only got 100 pages of Lady Midnight left, and Tavvy was just taken by Malcolm, so I am freaking out with Max Lightwood flashbacks. My room desperately needs to be cleaned because I was finally able to hang up all my dried herbs again now that the weather isn’t so hot that the command strips will keep falling off, but that means the floor is just covered in excess heather flowers and sunflower petals and echinacea dust. That, and my bookshelves are way too overstuffed, and I need to unhaul some, as well as put my last ten reads or so actually away instead of just shoving them in at random. It’s a mess, and it needs some serious TLC.
There is no way I can accurately describe how excited I am about the scene I just wrote without spoiling everything, so you’ll just have to take my word for it, but DAMN. I can tell you that a character from one of my other books just made a cameo, and if you’ve been paying attention, you absolutely know who it is, and it was so much fun to have him pop up in this book. He’ll probably have another scene or two, though I’m not revealing anything about him in this book because that would be a lot, but I’m still just bursting with excitement over the fact that he was there. The chapter was giving me a little trouble, too, but the second I got Freddie and the new character alone, bam, it was all just flowing.
Anyway, I’m starving, and I made crockpot chili for lunch, so I am off to go eat that and maybe do one of the eight thousand things I mentioned above!
Daily word count: 3,698
Total word count: 43,706
Imagine you’ve just spent over a week buried alive in the catacombs under the Vatican only to escape by allowing a demon to possess you so that you might return to the country where all your worst nightmares live before finally returning home, and what’s the first thing you do?
Go to the library, of course.
Freddie is truly one of a kind, and I wish that I was kidding, but that is exactly what he would do after the ordeal he’s been through because not only did all of that happen, but it happened right after a wealth of new information was dropped into his lap, and he’s got so much research stacking up in his head that yeah, forget the potentially mythical creature that just showed up on his doorstep, he wants to read a book.
LORDDDDD, I am giggling so much, I love this weirdo.
Hugo truly couldn’t decide what was worse—the fact that Freddie had somehow snuck into the archives while Hugo and Raul were down there with Nerea, and nabbed a translation from the 17th century of an ancient Greek text, or the fact that he was using it to poorly hide the fact that he’d also decided setting another book on top of a delicate copy of Ovid’s work, translated in the 15th century, was a good idea.
I have continued to giggle myself half to death with this weirdo, and I’m gifting you this out of context paragraph that describes just how truly batshit Freddie can be. His conversations with Hugo in the Joanina are some of my favorite, particularly when he’s getting all hot and bothered over the ancient texts that he’s not allowed to handle, but does anyway. It ended up being a really fun chapter, though it’s the last of this act. We officially stepped into the darker bits at the end, and there’ll be a couple more chapters with two of the last three major plot points, and then we move onto act four. I only ever utilize a fourth act in the finale because I like my happy endings to be a bit more drawn out than normal, and this one has got a third, and final, major plot point that I’m very excited about. Until then, though, I’ve got to break the careful threads of Freddie’s wellbeing a little more, whoops!
Daily word count: 3,656
Total word count: 47,362
I had a massive breakthrough with my writing last night, and I am just on a cloud this morning. Not for this novel, with Andrew’s, but it feels like a giant weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I texted my CP, Sara, at 1:30AM because I was literally being haunted by the idea unraveling in my head, and she was just truly incredible. Like. I need to share these texts with you because she responded at 7AM in the damn morning, which is way too early to be discussing the endless history of vampires, and I am in awe of both of us.
Y’ALL GET YOURSELF A CRITIQUE PARTNER THAT WRITES YOU SEVEN PARAGRAPH ESSAYS TO HELP YOU THROUGH WRITING PROBLEMS.
We continued after this, but it gets spoilery, so you just get her initial badass response because I am still picking my jaw up off the floor. I know I’ve talked about this before, in the Revision & Constructive Criticism posts in the #marywrites series, but having a critique partner is literally going to change your life, and finding the right one is so important. I am so blessed to have two amazing CPs because I would not be able to figure some of this intricate, complicated, weird af story pieces sometimes, and though the breakthrough was mine, the work through it belongs, in part, to Sara, who helped me get from breakthrough to recognizing the nitty gritty at the core of that. I am so excited now, even more so to be threading Andrew through Freddie’s story, and though I never, ever intended for Andrew to be the heart of this entire universe, it makes sense, and I can’t wait to see what he’s got to offer.
Anywho, that was my morning, and now that I’ve read yesterday’s chapter, it’s time to get writing!
I know that I’m the only one actually aware of the events of the story right now, but Freddie just played the piano, and it has literally been 83k words since he last played any sort of music, and I nearly cried during this:
I think Vianna da Motta might be his favorite Portuguese composer, and the combination of this particular song, which is so much lighter than what he usually plays, and the fact that he’s finally home, safe, is just making me weepy. I’m so happy he’s happy again, which is absurd because I’m the one who made him sad, but it had to happen! It’s just been so long since I got to listen to Portuguese piano compositions, and it feels so familiar in a way I wasn’t expecting, but given that I spent most of the first book researching music for him to play, it also makes all the sense in the world.
Anyway, that chapter was way longer than I was expecting, which has been happening all week, and the next one is going to be emotionally draining, so I’m calling it a day on this one.
Daily word count: 4,229
Total word count: 51,591
HELL YES! AND THAT’S NANO, FOLKS! (I am still shooting for 70k, but going to celebrate this milestone because YA GIRL WROTE 50K!)
I love writing, I do, and this book is so much fun, but I also cannot wait for it to be over. I don’t want it, specifically, to be over because the idea of leaving Freddie and Co. behind is just awful, but I haven’t had a break from writing in way too long, and I can’t wait to take one. The break between Freddie’s first and second book was maybe two weeks long? Blink, and you miss it. And I am definitely going to take, at minimum, a month when this is over because while I’m having a wonderful time writing every day, I’m also exhausted.
Some half-asleep math while lying in bed last night tells me that I’m probably going to reach 100k for this book by the end of November, which means I’ll only have about 20k left to write to get to the end, which will probably only take the first two weeks of December, and then? Ya girl is on a writing break until Christmas and beyond. I’ve got plans for 2021, so it won’t be a super long break, but enough that I can just reach all the books and take a few deep breaths.
And I know what you’re thinking–why not just take a break right now? There is literally no universe where I would be able to take a break in the middle of writing a book and not go absolutely stir crazy, so it’s straight on until morning.
And that’s a wrap on week three, folks! I’m nearly to the end of act three, which is much shorter than the other two, and then we’ve just got a happy ending to write. This chapter was an interesting one to write, too, because though I’ve made the Vatican out to be villainous for this book, I couldn’t do the same to Catholicism in general because there are priests from Batalha that help Freddie, and it was an interesting balance to strike. Both for him because he was expecting to be terrified just at the mere sight of them, and for me because I have such a fraught relationship with the religion, and it was interesting to write both sides of it.
Anyway, I’m tired and hungry, and I can’t wait to spend the weekend doing nothing but reading.
Daily word count: 3,520
Total word count: 55,111