On June 1st, I started a novel!
Or at least, it is something I hope will become a novel, and it currently sits at around 15.7k words — there’s been some beginning foreshadowing to the overall plot (and subplots), and establishing the main character and his family (as well as his love interest, let’s be honest), and it still all feels very much like a beginning more than anything else. It’s the expansion of a Shousetsu Bang*Bang story I wrote yonks ago (August-ish 2011, to be precise!) for the Hot For Teacher issue. It was called Lessons Learned, which admittedly was not the best title ever, but I find titling a story a whole lot harder than writing it, haha. At the time I wrote this, I was mostly aiming to fit the criteria for SSB*B, which was that it had to have a minimum wordcount (1500 words) and had to include an explicit sex scene. I succeeded, obviously, since it made it to the public issue, but at the time I was vaguely dissatisfied because there were a handful of scenes that I had to cut out for lack of time, and also lack of connection to the “payoff,” as it were.
At the heart of the original story is a young noble heir who doesn’t particularly want his position and the weight of expectations on him, and the mysterious and sexy new tutor he picked up. Originally the main character is twelve when he meets the tutor, though nothing happens until he officially comes of age. (The nice thing about fantasy worlds is that I can determine the rules of things. I have issues with the argument of historical accuracy when applied to fantasy fiction, but that’s something for another day.) Certainly he and his tutor continue their affair, but as the story stands, there were things I wanted to flesh out and explore and a couple of months (at the time, with the writing habits I had) was just not enough to get to where I wanted. So I cut things and I bandaged the edges and I submitted it. People responded favorably, for which I was (and still am!) glad, though a few people seemed to pick up on the fact that I had something bigger in mind. So I thought to myself, just because that part of the story was done didn’t mean I had to be. I could do something with it! I could make it into something bigger and bolder and maybe better! So I wrote myself some notes, the beginning of an outline, and resolved to come back to it.
Fast-forward almost two years, oops.
Winter’s story never really left me for long, though I obviously spent a lot of time dabbling in other places and writing other things, meeting other characters and getting things settled there. So I resolved to actually do something with my notes this time, and I sat down for my nightly writing session with the ambition of writing the whole story. At this point there’s not a whole lot that really resembles the initial story — Winter himself is still the same, and so is Frest, but I juggled ages around, I introduced the family members that are far more influential on Winter’s life than his father (which is to say, his mother and his sister) and slipped female characters into the story, which pleased me greatly. It’s still a love story between a boy and his tutor, but there’s more to it now, and I have my fingers crossed that I’ll really get there. Maybe even in a two-month time period, as long as I don’t let myself slack off. Novels are long and intimidating and I am not going to lie and say I’m not daunted, but I’m interested, I’m excited, and I’ve got my fingers crossed. \o/