And so the winner of the epic work-in-progress stare-down last week turned out to be Helleville, which wasn’t surprising, seeing as how that story’s already nicely outlined in my writing journal, while the fairy tale I began was more like a let’s-see-what-happens-next thing.
On one hand, I’ve been able to make significant progress with the new book. As of today, I’ve got over 8,000 words written, and so far, so good. I’m slowly getting the hang of Noah’s voice as well as his mother’s, and I’m about to let loose with the setting.
On the other hand, I’ve been having a pretty tough time transitioning from Eric’s point of view to Noah’s. I don’t want Noah to sound like Eric at all and give readers the same old, same old.
That said, I do find it difficult to fully get inside Noah’s head. He’s Eric’s complete opposite by way of temperament, and Helleville is written in third person limited omniscient, so there’s even more distance between the reader and the main character. Since I’m still in the process of writing it, I’m way too emotionally and mentally close to the story, so I can’t make any objective judgments about how the story’s turning out overall. That won’t happen till the massive revisions after the first draft’s written, but I do wish I could accurately assess it right now.
I must admit that I’ve been tempted to just chuck any attempt at new contemporary fantasy series and simply focus on expanding Masks to however many volumes it’ll take me to write it (I initially gave myself no more than ten books for the series) and then publish occasional short fantasy fiction on the side to keep my historical fantasy skills up to date.
But I don’t know how that would work out. I’m currently reading a historical mystery series that runs eight volumes long as I type this, and the author told me that she’s just resurrected her characters and is working on a new installment. I wonder if she’s doing that because of the same issues I’m currently having, switching over to a new character and a new world in the same genre after being fully immersed in something else for six volumes of the series. I wouldn’t be surprised if she is, and I empathize completely.
At any rate, it’s full steam ahead with Helleville, and while it looks like this book will end up being a full novel, I’m still not sure whether or not to turn this into a series.