Since January, I have been writing and rewriting book 2 in the Secrets series, presently known as 'Book 2' or The Secrets of Teeth and Bone. I think I have reached saturation point with it, even though I can see where it needs to go. Now I need a break, not in writing, but in writing that story. I think I get to a point where my nose is pretty well on the page, I'm reading it that closely, and I can't see what I'm working on. So I've sent it off to Lulu for a draft copy - it costs about £8 in A4, double spaced etc. and I can work on editing with coloured pens before I go back to the draft. I like the feeling of holding it in my hands, too, and it's not for sale so stays private.
But my heart also gives a little lift at the thought of writing something else. I've set myself a week to write two outlines: one for book 3 which is well underway, and one for the crime book I've been making notes on for ages, and actually already have a first draft for. It needs focusing down to three points of view, and a lot of research into current thinking on the different types of psychopaths. Two of my POV characters are psychopaths, one with limited ability to form attachments (although they are skewed and abnormally exploitative) and one, really, with none, but a clever mimic with a high IQ and good education. Put these two either side of the justice system, and throw in a victim for good measure and you get some interesting dialogue and interactions!
I'm very conscious that I have a book deal but I'll finish all three books this year, probably by September, which leaves me back with books I love to write and no publishing deal for them. A book deal does not a career in writing make, although it certainly helps. I'm wondering what will happen next, and looking forward to running it past my agent.
I also have my dissertation back from the markers. There really isn't any reason why the creative part, you know, the book that's being published missed being marked as publishable, but the rationale mark makes sense. Generally good but didn't follow up enough of the literary references (well, I didn't understand them enough). It was a positive experience and I am seriously considering doing a PhD, although I'm a bit concerned about the money. I know a lot of people don't rate doing an MA and maybe I didn't need to do one, but nothing makes you look so critically at your writing as a lot of educated, intelligent readers and fellow writers reading it, judging it, placing it in odd contexts and comparisons, turning it upside down and looking up its arse...you end up with a lot of feedback and ideas about how it impacts on the reader. Who is, ultimately, the person we want to enjoy our writing. I miss that. But I'm saving up for a reading retreat...I probably need another book deal or two.