Wasabi, guys? (Remember that commercial?? ;P) Just whipping up a quick update this month because:
May is typically pretty busy for me, because it's spring - meaning I'm out of hibernation and thinking about All The Things that I need to do this year!! Prepping books for publication is a HECK of a lot of work, more than you'd think - more than I realized at first! Whew!...Don't get me wrong; I love doing it. Not complaining. The books are fantastic and I'm in love with them all! It's just, well, you wouldn't know "wasabi" unless I told you, right? (:
Plus, I have a super-huge proofreading job right now on top of Thinklings work and a chronic illness keeping my energy levels low. So, send thoughts and prayers! (And chocolate/caffeine...LOL...)
Anyway, you might be wondering about how Book 2 (the sequel to Hunter's Moon) is coming along. I realized it's been long enough that I really ought to say something about it...other than "It's being worked on!" Which it still is, almost every night. Slowly but surely - I am a tortoise and will win this race! 2020 was an extremely hard year for me, mentally and emotionally, which stagnated my writing. (*sigh* #INFJproblems) But as some characters in Monty Python would say, "I'm getting bettah!"
I do have a working title for the sequel, which I came up with before Hunter's Moon was published, but the way the plot is going now, I don't think the working title's going to fit anymore. So I may as well not mention it because it'll change and I don't want it getting stuck in anyone's head or compared to anything...or giving a "false spoiler," etc. etc. So let's just call it Book 2 for now.
As for the word count of Book 2, it is (as of the day I wrote this) 39,854 words. That's 151 pages in Times New Roman, 12-point, double spaced. Okay, now you can tell I'm old, because that's what Word's default used to be when I was in college typing up papers at 3 a.m. Lol. I still like the look of it, it's easy to proofread, and Deborah is going to format it differently in the end anyway. (:
What other mild spoilers or info can I give...?
This time around, I'm doing more plotting, as opposed to "pantsing" like I mostly did with Hunter's Moon. If you're a plotter, you do a lot of outlining and planning for your book before writing it. Pantsers, on the other hand, are writers who "fly by the seat of their pants" and figure out the plot as they go along. Like with introversion and extraversion, there's a whole spectrum, and I recently heard the term "plantser" used for someone who half plans, half wings it. I feel like I'm more in that category now. I could never be a true plotter, because I like my books to surprise me - at least a little - with where they go. I have an idea for the ending, but right now I'm not sure of everything that happens to cause the climactic event. But I have LOADS of notes with different possibilities.
Another little morsel I can share: I just introduced some new characters! :) I'm growing to like them as I develop them (well, not the one who's a villain). I have always loved scouring baby name books and finding cool names. I've researched "wolfy" names for both books, so be sure to look up my characters' names if you don't know what they mean, and you might find some of the werewolves (and others) have appropriate names! ;) #PunsIntended
Also, a theme I have noticed developing in Book 2 is family. I have a big, loving, close-knit extended family, and we've had monthly parties for most of my life (not during COVID, sadly...I really miss those...). Every family has different relationship dynamics, and I like to explore relationships in my writing.
I know I'm deviating from a certain trend in young adult fiction by having my main character's parents be alive, but I would love to show that a YA main character can still be independent and grow and be her own person with parents around. (At least, around a little bit; Melanie's still live 10 hours away.) It works in By These Ten Bones...which I've read maybe 10 times! In fact, conflict with a parent can help the character grow and become independent, assertive, and/or proactive and drive the plot.
Looking back at my college self, when I was Mel's age, I can tell that I was still pretty immature in some ways. There was a lot I didn't know. College students are still coming of age - there's no "magic number" age when one is fully an adult; it's different for everyone. Diversity is fun! Also, we know that the prefrontal cortex isn't fully developed until around age 25. But that doesn't mean, if a parent is in the picture, their shadow has to loom over the YA main character.
Not to mention: every main character can't be an orphan, especially one with no siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc.* Come on, people. It's just not realistic. ;P
So, to the other writers out there: Don't feel like your story has to fit in any boxes you don't want it to fit in. Explore what you want to explore! To quote Ms. Frizzle: "Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy!"
It doesn't come naturally to me, but I have definitely been learning to take her advice. :)
Well, best get back to work! Bzzzzzz, bzzzzzz....
P.S. I know some of you are patiently but eagerly waiting for Book 2. You're AWESOME and I love you and want you to know that you're a major driving force that's helping me work on it regularly now! So thank you for your support and patience! <3 <3 <3
In the meantime, go read Thinklings' other books.... ;)
*I'm making absolutely no digs at any story w/ an orphan MC. C'mon, there's Harry Potter. Frodo's parents are dead (yeah, he's older, and LOTR's not YA, but...). Skate the Thief is another great YA book whose MC, at 9 yrs old, is an orphan. In The Cosmic Turkey, the MC's parents are still alive...but they're on another planet and don't really enter the plot - another strategy to avoid having to kill those poor people who happened to birth a main character! ;P
Hehe, that reminded me of this meme (I have much love and fondness for anime, but this is still funny!!):