The Honest Writer

This blog is an open and honest account of what it’s like to be an author, in the hope it helps others on the same journey feel less alone. I change my mind, I babble, and I occasionally over-share. Please ignore any advice I give (except the advice about ignoring the advice). 

Beauty and the Beast: A History of Bloody Drafts

I’m currently writing a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. When I’m feeling positive, I say that this book has taught me so much because failure is the best teacher. Most of the time I think this book is going to kill me.

An explanation: I started in June 2017 and originally planned to release a trilogy of retellings over the course of summer (LOL). Anyhoo, I spewed out a 30k novella for Beauty and the Beast. My critique partner, a kind lady, said it wasn’t a load of guff, but it was. Oh, it was. Shortly after finishing the novella, I finally snapped and accepted that no, I couldn’t write a book every month. (Kudos to those who can.)

Long story short, I spent August and September mapping out a seven-book series of retellings, digging down into a huge level of detail, writing about 15000 words…then quitting.

October, I barely wrote a thing.

November, I started again. Beauty and the Beast, take three. Ten thousand words in, and it became Beauty and the Beast take four. Fast-forward to February 2018 and I was on, ooo, my ninth, tenth? version of Beauty and the Beast, and had a folder of 80,000 scrapped words in my Scrivener file.

In early February I had another idea, involving a new(ish) world filled with characters that were partial reincarnations from the previous unfinished stories. I’m now two weeks in, and the story has changed three times already, but…the world and characters feel real to me this time. Like, when I’m not in front of my keyboard, I still see and hear them. I’ve decided this is a Good Sign.

And yet…it’s hard to believe I’ll ever get this draft down. Maybe I’m cursed. Or maybe perfectionism has throttled me. Pfft, who knows. But I’m gonna keep trying, because I can’t allow myself to take a break. I will finish this bloody book, and it will be awesome.

Current WIP: 11304