I realised last week that I have written somewhere between five and six novels in the past few years. I don’t know how to count, exactly, due to some being as yet incomplete and others undergoing serious rewrites. Two are urban fantasy, which is not my usual, but still fun to write. The rest are all historical fiction (obviously my usual). One of them I have written twice – should that be counted twice? (By the way, it still isn’t done. I’m dying to get back to work on it, but some other things are higher priority at the moment. It’ll be my masterpiece. Maybe. Someday. In like a decade.) One novel led me to my agent. My next book was a side-a-long story to it – standalone, but similar time period and some overlapping characters – and is currently on submission. I have another half-finished novel that I am also dying to get back to work on. My poor main characters have been trapped in an abbey after narrowly escaping being caught snooping for evidence of an assassination plot, and they really need to get out of there. It’s probably going to have to wait a little longer though, since I am also several chapters into another completely different novel that I think I should finish first.
Anyway, through a lot of hard work and many hours in front of the computer, my list of novels has expanded, and grown from amateur and predictable to better-crafted and surprising, and I think there is always room for continuous improvement. I actually have my feet on the path to being a ‘real live author’, instead of just talking about it like I used to. So I decided that it was time to give my office a grown-up makeover.
The posters are taken down. The bright green paint has been buried. I can’t remember the name of the shade of green, in spite of the fact that laughing over paint colour names is one of my favourite past-times. It was kind of an apple leaf green, something worthy of a name like Spring Symphony or Parakeet Wing or Eccentric Bonsai. I chose a much paler shade called Silk Moon to replace the green, and very excitedly bought a gallon and some painting supplies. Later, in the middle of painting at ten o’clock on a Saturday night, I couldn’t remember why I had been so enthusiastic about this venture, or why I had only purchased one gallon of paint. I’ve painted rooms before; I should have known that wasn’t enough.
But now that it’s done and the furniture rearranged, I’m glad of the change. I think it will help me regain momentum and inspiration to focus on finishing my two incomplete novels, and make research notes for some other ones swirling around in my head. I write on a laptop, so I can take it anywhere, but I always feel the most comfortable at my own desk.
Where do you write? Are you one of those lucky people that can write at the kitchen table and shut out household noise? What about coffee shops? I can’t write in them. I am too afraid of people reading over my shoulder, for some reason. I know it’s irrational.
Please also share if you would like to talk about your completed projects. Has anyone else done significant re-writes?