Beginnings

When Monica was pregnant, we didn’t tell anyone the baby’s name. We had a funny idea that telling someone else might jinx it, so Dora’s name remained a secret until the moment she was born.

It sounds daft, but I feel the same way about the title of my new novel. I know what it’s going to be called, but I’m not ready to talk about it just yet. I have this strange sense that I don’t want people to know. So, for the moment, I’ll use another name. This was actually the first title I thought of, but decided was a bit of a mouthful; it’ll do for now. When I talk about the new novel, I’ll call it ‘We Are Always Reaching Out For Heaven’.

I mention this because I started writing today. I didn’t think it would happen so quickly, because I’ve been stewing on the idea for months, but this morning I divided the story into chapters and blocked out the scenes, then copied the whole plan into a new document. Each of the chapters has a summary of the action, ready to go, so I can work on whichever part of the story shouts the loudest without losing sight of the whole. This method worked nicely for me with Riptide Heart, as I seldom write in chronological order (I like to write my ending early on – it gives me a destination to work towards).

Then I simply started writing. The first line was quick, and the rest of the paragraph took me an hour, trying sentences, rephrasing them, deleting them, rewriting them…. and it evolved, slowly, feeling out the words, building a story. It’ll take a while to settle on a voice and a vocabulary that works for this story – and to keep it distinct from Riptide Heart, which is still fresh in my mind after such intense redrafts.

So there it is – the first 500 words of my new novel, down on paper. It’s an odd sensation to be in a triple figure word count after dealing with a redraft of 105,000 words, but I’m quietly excited about it. And I need something to keep my mind off Riptide Heart while agent Sue starts the nerve-shredding process of submitting the manuscript to publishers.

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