True Favorite Words

The EndSo I lied when I listed my favorite words. You’re shocked, I know. But I left two off. My two favorite words are “the end.” Only when used together of course. They don’t much for me separately. But as a pair they are magic.

I spent NaNoWriMo last year writing a book that I’ve been calling The Easy Part (the title is going to change; stay tuned). Then I sold that book to Carina. I realize you’re probably not supposed to say this but it was a fairly straightforward book to write. I understood Millie and Parker so well. I understood the conflict between them. I understood so many of the major scenes. The book feels like a movie in my head, one that I needed to figure out how to pour onto the page.

That isn’t to say I always achieved what I wanted to in terms of the writing. Oh no. It fails in ways too various and sundry to list here. And revising that book was difficult and circular and I’m not half-certain I did it well. But my main concern in writing the first draft was always, “Am I achieving my vision?” Not “what happens next?” or “is that what he would do?” The problem, in other words, was one of translation.

This spring, I started the sequel to The Easy Part, which features two minor characters from it. I felt strongly that they should be together. But when I told anyone about it, the response was always, “Really?” Adamant, I strode out…only to get stuck in the mire.

This was not an easy book to write. Writing on a deadline was scary. Writing with a more limited sense of audience was scarier. Writing and revising at the same time was the scariest. But yesterday, I typed “the end.” Today I skimmed through it and finally felt the words. And at some point next year (or whenever it releases), you’ll be able to read through the crazy, scandalous, opposites-attract story. Please come back then and let me know how I did.

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7 thoughts on “True Favorite Words

    • The first book is sort of opposites-attract too. It’s one of my favorite tropes.

      My contemporary voice sounds completely different from my historical voice. I’m pretty sure Gen didn’t think I was the same person for a while. ; ) So since you liked the historical book–an opinion that’s been far from universal–I hope you’ll like the contemporary too.

      • Interesting what you say about the “voice.” I’m inclined, when I like a writer, to like his/her sensibility. I guess that’s part of voice. And, because I loved Brave In Heart, I’m going to be inclined to like it.

  1. There’s an aspect of voice that can’t be learned or manipulated. It reflects world view and personality. It’s grammatical and intellectual, an extension of one’s reading, education, etc. etc. etc. Then there’s a level that’s artifice and aesthetics (which I mean in a purely descriptive and not at all evaluative way; there’s a dimension that’s craft).

    Brave in Heart, at the level of the writing, was about cadence and rhythm, about feeling like it could have been written in the 19th C not merely that it was set then. Now this spilled over into the plot. I see it as a novel about restraint and longing that erupt despite every social pressure not to, about second chances, about presence and absence, and about the fragility of life and love.

    The DC series is different. It’s youthful. It’s about cynicism and hope and absurdity. It’s about falling in love with absolutely the wrong person. It’s about the Sisyphean nature of lawmaking–that just when you want to throw in the towel, the city surprises you and does the right thing.

    In the last analysis, they’re just really different books. I love them all, but I don’t know how others will feel. ; )

  2. Yes, your contemporary voice was so different, it did surprise me at first. But I can definitely now see glimmers of your historical voice in these books. For what it’s worth, it’s very, very hard for me to find contemporaries that I like, but I love yours. So there’s that.
    And I’m glad you’re falling in love with it again. :)

  3. Pingback: From the Round File: Together is Enough | Emma Barry

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