The First Page
Once upon a time, on a dark and stormy night I had a dream. Well, not really. I began writing pretty much the same way I think most people did – by staring at a blank screen and writing meaningless rubbish until something mildly coherent was produced.
I have to admit… it had taken some time to actually start writing. The ideas had been swirling inside my head for some time, slowly forming what I hoped one day to put down into a novel. The first time I actually sat down and seriously wrote - it was a brief, one-and-a-bit page story. What I wrote was nothing outstanding, but it was enough to constitute a beginning, middle and an end.
I showed it to wifey, and she said she liked it.
Well, that was good enough for me. From there, I just decided to go for it. I’d talked about it for so long, and now I had the tacit approval of the person whose opinion I care about the most.
So, in 2013, I began writing Nightfall. It’s a story I’ve been playing with in my mind for several years now. When a thought popped into my head about the story, I would make a note to myself to include in any future literary endeavour.
The major themes of Nightfall, the (spoiler-alert) twists and the main pro and antagonists have been with me for a long time.
I had plans for several different scenes in my head, some which made it in, and some which I’ll save for a later occasion.
Over time, they had loosely come together in my mind, and eventually manifested themselves onto the pages you have hopefully read (or the digital screens you have flicked through).
Serious question - Put your hands up if you have three kids (two under two years old), a full time job and plenty of spare time…
Have a think… I’ll wait…
That’s what I thought… not a lot of us do. So, when do I find the time to sit down and write?
As mentioned above, I started writing Nightfall in 2013, so getting up to a completed manuscript took me around about two full years. From there, I started to try and get it published (more on that later). Overall, from first word written to getting the finished book in my hands took just over three years.
The answer to the question of when do I find the time - I write whenever I get a chance. Sometimes, it was during a lunch break at work, others it was at night after the kids went to bed. To be honest, there was no real set time in which I was able to write.
I tried setting myself a goal of writing at least (insert arbitrary number here) words a day, but I found that a bit counter-productive as the guilt would creep in when I didn’t hit the goal.
So I wrote whenever I could. And, eventually, after time I got to my goal of around 110,000 words (or just shy of 400 pages).
The good news (at least for me) is that the kids are now two and ten, and they are in a much better routine. I’ve also sorted a smaller, more portable laptop (though I think I’ve left it in the back of the car that wifey has taken to work. Note to self “don’t do that), which I can take with me wherever I go.
Right now, I’m working on the sequel, and thanks to the above, I’ve cranked out about 70,000 words since last October, so hopefully will have the sequel ready for editing and publishing soon.
Nightfall is the first part of what began as a single story, morphed into a two-parter, and has now grown into at least a trilogy.
The decision to spread the story over multiple books was relatively easy. The story of Caleb and Darcy is not one that can be told in one book. They are two very strong individuals, and they’re growth is really what the story is about.
On the other side, the people they are up against are also quite dynamic and layered. The most interesting antagonists I’ve ever read or seen are the ones that believe they are doing the right thing. And James, William and the others certainly fit that mould.
So, in order to do them, and the story, justice, Nightfall needs to be over multiple books.
With all I've learned so far, the sequel is looking much more exciting.
I'm really enjoying the feedback I'm receiving about Nightfall, though if you do get a chance, please leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads or even my Facebook Page. Its amazing what happens when people see it.
Coming Up Next Time
What happened once the manuscript was complete...