Last week I penned “The End” on my latest manuscript, a book with a working title of “Pursued”. Even though I’m currently editing it, my brain has already set off to figure out the plot for Book 2 of this series. My plan is for it to be a trilogy.
It’s easy to get carried away with ideas and subplots and even dialogue on the next book because I want to continue the story. However, first things first, Book 1 needs editing.
I wrote 50 000 words for Pursued in the NaNoWriMo challenge, which you can catch up on here and here. When I tapped out “The End”, it had reached 71 000 words exactly. So much for my anticipated 5000 words to finish it after NaNoWriMo ended.
I love this story.
Where did the inspiration for this novel come from? Around 5 years ago, I came up with a concept for a character who had been cast out of the family castle and was walking across the lands on a mission for some mystery organisation. I knew the protagonist quite well and I was relatively familiar with her companion but I knew the story would be around 300K words if I told it all and even though I knew the ending, the middle bit was saggy. I gave up. I couldn’t figure out how to make it into a readable novel.
But I couldn’t give up on that protagonist. Marigold was almost alive to me. And yes, she did walk into my head with that name. Marigold floated around, occasionally kicking me, until I sat down to write the stories that make up Red Inks.
As part of a flash fiction collection, I could tell part of Marigold’s story in under 1000 words. Pursued is the first story in Red Inks and is one of my favourites. The feedback I received from quite a few readers of Red Inks was that they also love Pursued. More than one person said that they wanted Pursued to become a novel, including my sister, Elizabeth. She’s a hard task master so I knew I had to re-think Marigold’s book.
At the end of NaNoWriMo, and after I’d re-read those 50K words in March, I sent the manuscript to a couple of trusted readers for feedback. Thankfully, it was mostly positive. There were a couple of suggestions on story direction and characters that I took on board when I nutted out those additional 21K words.
I’ve changed her companion’s name and those of her siblings as well but Marigold insisted she would not be changing her name under any circumstances. Her main companion was re-named after a castle (see below for a hint).
I can’t wait for everyone to read book 1 of the Pursued series.