Do you remember the list of writing goals I made for 2021? Nowhere on that list did it say write the first draft of a whole new, non-Nanowrimo book. Yet I finished one yesterday.
I was in the middle of planning Book 14 (which, because I sneaked the third instalment of the Beginner's Guide series in, is now Book 15*) when Tessa's story started niggling at me. If you're a regular reader of this blog, you'll know that I like to plan my books a lot. I'm an uber-plotter. The book I'm going to start writing for Nanowrimo, for example, has already been planned out, chapter by chapter, so that I'm ready to go on 1st November. I didn't have a plan for Tessa's story. I had a first line, that kept repeating itself over and over in my head, so even though I was busy planning Book 15, I wrote it down. And I added a bit more. And then a bit more.
By the time I'd finished planning Book 15, I had one and a half chapters of Tessa's story, written in tiny instalments. I still didn't have a plan for this book, but I decided to carry on, to see where Tessa took me.
She took me to almost 90,000 words. I somehow wrote a whole book, with a beginning, middle and an end, without a plan, without really meaning to. It's a rough first draft, but there's a story there. There are characters I've got to know over the summer, who I've grown to love, and it's a bit strange not to be discovering what happens next in Tessa's life this morning. But I know she's happy, and that brings me a lot of joy.
I'll be putting Tessa's story aside for now: I have a list of goals for 2021 that I'm still working on. But she'll be going on my list of goals for 2022 and I'm looking forward to returning to her world.
*To make matters even more confusing, Book 15, which I'll be working on during Nano, has been usurped by Tessa's story, so is now