#PitchWars Progress 2: Edit Letters and deciding to add 40,000 words…

So yesterday was dramatic! I woke up to my edit letter from Mónica in my inbox and read it before I even had coffee I was so excited. All 17 pages.

Then I really needed coffee.

tenor-1.gif
like a lot of it

After a flurry of brainstorming emails, I decided what I needed to do to make my manuscript “the best version of itself”… see, I had originally conceived The Demon King as the first of a duology. Which isn’t a terrible idea, but it meant that the cool twist and major bad-guy screen time was reserved for the second of the two books, and the first one ended on kind of an unsatisfying cliffhanger.

Which is no fun.

So what did I decide to do after bouncing a few ideas off my mentors?

Collapse the duology into a single manuscript.

dramatic squirrel.gif
scuse me wHATT

NO BIG DEAL, RIGHT? Just casually squash the entire second book into the first and see what happens.

tenor.gif
i defo needed more coffee after that decision

No big deal, I thought. I just revise 18ish chapters and then tack on another 40,000 words full of bad boy Demon Kings and magic mirrors and ‘ifrit warfare. No sweat. I wrote the last 9,600 words of my last draft in a single day, didn’t I?

cheez.gif
yeah that happened

So yesterday I wrote up a new character arc for my MC that includes the aforementioned escapades with bad boy Demon Kings and ‘ifrit warfare. Then this morning I finished my chapter-by-chapter+goals outline for the new draft.

Then I opened up a new document.

And I wrote the first line of my book.

In Kairouan, there was coffee for guests, coffee for war, and coffee for marriage.

And I stopped. Because I felt overwhelmed by the task before me.

Whenever I’m feeling discouraged, I go back to an interview that Sarah J. Maas did a few years ago with Swoon Says where she talks about her writing process. She talks about how she wrote A Court of Thorns and Roses (aka one of my favorite books of all time; shoutout to Kara for making me read it), and how even though it was a “magic” book for her, she had the same routine:

It’s that simple. Some days are better than others; some days every word is painful and I want to throw my computer into the street. Some days I just reread what I’ve written and either strut around the house, bloated on my own genius, or start quietly, thoroughly panicking that every word blows and I’m a hack-loser. But I still eat my breakfast, drink my tea/OJ/water, and show up.

There’s no magic to it. No special formula. There is no one process to creating my books beyond that: showing up. […]

So that is my process.

Show up. Write. Repeat.

So I’m here.

I’m going to eat some breakfast, get some more coffee, and maybe head to a cafe to get some fresh air.

And then I’m going to show the fuck up. Write. And repeat.

Even when classes start up again and the anxiety of being a PhD student at a stupid elite little university sets in again, I will show up for The Demon King. I will show up for Ramzy and Soukaina. For myself. For my mentors. For my readers, present and future.

And I will write.

(To an excellent soundtrack.)

 

That’s all for now. I’ve got a lot of work to do.

xo sp

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