Monday, April 28, 2008

Back to work on novel # 4

I just got home from Winnipeg, where I once lived and where both of my kids were born. I was there to promote The Silver Compass. After my reading, one woman approached me and politely said, "I've now read all your novels and with each one I think your writing gets better."

What a nice compliment. It also helps me explain why I waited five years to write my next novel, Keeper of the Pond. To be honest, I just wasn't ready. I didn't feel strong enough or confident enough to do the story justice. But now I feel I can, which makes letting go of The Silver Compass a little easier as I get back to work on novel #4.

Even so, the task itself, the completion of that first solid draft, makes me feel (as it always does) like I'm climbing a steep and rickety ladder! Tomorrow I'll be digging back into writing in a big way for the next 2-3 months. Wish me luck.


Therese said...

Ah, time to put aside the author chores and be a writer again. :)

I absolutely do wish you ever more luck with book 4!

Ramona said...

That is a big compliment.
I agree with her wholeheartedly. The Silver Compass brought me to tears more than once. I kept thinking, What wonderful writing!

Congrats on a wonderful novel.

Janet said...

That is a tremendous compliment. It is so much better to go from strength to strength than to be desperately trying to recapture the magic. Kudos!

wordman17 said...

How long does it take you to write your first draft? Or is each novel different?

Victoria said...

Novel #4! Yaaaaaay!

Make room on
yer bookshelves for more
tear jerkers from Holly Kennedy.
I couldn't be happier to do so!!!!

Larramie said...

It's rather obvious that The Silver Compass has steered you in a new direction.

Happy trail blazing, Holly.

kyla-dale said...

How great that you're so
energized and enthusiastic as you move from one book
to the next!

Adam said...

Write hard and fast!!!
My girlfriend loved Silver Compass and now she can't wait for
your next one.

ORION said...

I too am waiting for number 4 even more eagerly as I got to hear the prologue...
Way cool Holly.
I mean as compared to Hawaii...

ChrisEldin said...

That is a high compliment from a reader!!!
I can't wait to go home and read your book.
Good luck on your current project--I'm very intrigued by your reference of 'being ready.'

Seeley deBorn said...

What a rush that must have been!

Have fun with #4.

The Anti-Wife said...

What a lovely compliment. We're all looking forward to your next book.

Travis Erwin said...

I'll wish you luck, but for a writer of your caliber a little time and patience is all you'll need to pen another great novel.

Cecelia said...

I loved the prologue you read to us in Cleveland for your new novel The Keeper of the Pond. There was something so magical about those six pages. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Chumplet said...

You're right about waiting until you're ready to tackle the next novel. It'll be worth it.

May Novel #4 flow from your fingertips with ease.

Carleen Brice said...

Can you finish a draft in 2-3 months?

Holly Kennedy said...

Nice to have you stop by, TF.
Hope all is well at your end.

And thank YOU, Ramona for such great gush for me as I dig into writing this morning :)

Janet -- I think it's always a nagging worry for every author, that we'll stagnate and stop growing.

Wordman -- each novel has been very different. I find as my confidence has expanded, the time requried for a first draft has shrunk considerably.

Tin Box took me 6-8 months, Penny Tree was rewritten 4x completely so I lost count, and after getting past some severe writers block with Silver Compass, my solid third draft, written from scratch, took 12 weeks (keep in mind that these were a HORRENDOUS 12 weeks where all I did was write 16-18 hours a day with breaks in between -- no joke).

I'm not sure why, but I seem to do my best writing under pressure and during a white heat of time where I immerse myself completely in 'nothing but the book'

Holly Kennedy said...

Victoria -- big smile at my end. Who doesn't like compliments like that?

Thanks for your encouragement, Daisy Girl :)

Kyla-dale -- I sure am for this upcoming novel anyhow.

Adam -- I promise, I'll do my best.

Morning Orion -- prologues are the easy part, aren't they, though? At least I always find they are.

Chris -- It's an odd and intangible thing, this 'knowing when you're ready'. Now let's hope my intution is correct!

Holly Kennedy said...

Seeley, good to see you in Winnipeg. And again, congrats on that first draft! That's one's always a big hurdle.

Anti-wife, you are too kind.

Travis (head shake) you are waaaay more confident than I am, but I'll take what you're saying and use the gush to spur me on when I'm not feeling so sure. Thanks!

Holly Kennedy said...

Cecelia -- You are more than welcome. I was thrilled to be able to 'test it' on a live audience.

Sentiment for the upcoming year: What Chumplet just said!!!

Carleen -- See response to Wordman from myself above. Yes, especially since the story itself for novel #4 has been percolating (sp?) in my mind for so long that I know the structure, which scene should go where, etc. I've never felt this clear on a novel.