I hear March is break up season…

Book, we’ve got to talk.

You’ve gotten a little to big for your britches. This can only mean one thing.

A break up.

It’s not what you think — It’s not me, it’s you.

Okay, okay…A little dramatic I know, but that’s what I’ve done — I’ve broken my book into a series. This decision has several benefits for me:

Managability.

The amount I’d written was getting overwhelming. Every time I added something new, I started to forget many of the details I’d written in other scenes months/years ago. And yes, I keep a comprehensive system of my stored research, character profiles, scene settings, you name it.

That doesn’t mean it’s easy to recall minute details from 70,000 words ago.

Breaking my novel apart allows me to improve the timeline, gives me more space to create better suspension of disbelief, allows me to develop connecting threads that won’t have meaning until later books. It’s hard to do that in one extensive manuscript — I admire all who can! However, as a first time novelist, I know my limits.

Let’s talk publishing.

The original set up made me think of numbers all the time; Editing of superfluous details, words I was agonizing over and knew I’d have to later cut out in order for my novel to be publishable… A writer is always thinking of the next step: Editing.

Every writer needs to edit, edit, and edit again, my decision to create a series doesn’t change that—I’ve already edited out as much as I’ve written.

It changes the load.

Let’s face it, publishing houses rarely consider epic novels unless you’re already established. Going the indie route, more words mean more money out of your pocket to publish your novel yourself. I haven’t decided which path to take as of now, but the more I read about self-publishing, the more I’m considering it. Creative control, more connection with my readership, my publishing house won’t decide to stop production midway through my series.

This makes shorter novels a compelling argument.

Character development.

I have a weak spot for anything character driven— movies, books, my experience at the local boutique with the eccentric owner…If interesting characters are the force behind something, I’m a fan.

Don’t get me wrong, some of the best stand alone novels have stunning character development. What I mean is that I, the author, get added opportunities to weave twists and turns, bring forth tidbits that make personalities solidify and resonate, give the reader what they want…and sometimes don’t want.

That’s sweet honey to the creative mind.

How many novels? At least 4…probably more like six… I mean seven… Maybe eight? Series here we come!

Where have you been, Tara?

Things have been busy here in the Tara Gabriel world — where I was at one time focusing my attention solely on researching and writing my novel, life events have divided my time between my novel and my new venture — developing a content writing business.

In October I moved to a new city, one that has enabled me to put my back burner plans of developing a content writing business front and center. Let’s face it, writing books, especially historical realism novels like mine, take years to research and write. That leaves the question of interim income on the table — one that couldn’t be addressed in my old town due to lack of opportunity, contacts, and bad ju-ju in my former residence.

Now that the house has sold, I am in a place of new beginnings with like minded individuals and I’ve been working on my business for the last six months. I purchased the domain name a few years ago in preparation — I thought my house would sell sooner. It didn’t.

Within a month of moving here, I started sub-contracting for other companies, providing content and learning the ropes.

I may not have been writing this blog, but I’ve ghostwritten over a dozen others over the months.

 

Webpage content, Social Media writing for companies, SEOing website pages and content, alt texting images, writing email campaigns, editing and writing bios, product descriptions, you name it. While things have been quiet at TaraGabriel.com, Tara Gabriel the writer has been busy.

Yes, I’m still working on my novel.

 

That brings me to why I’m writing this blog piece.

When I started this website, I was getting back into writing after a long hiatus, was researching my book, and was about to start writing the first draft of my book. I wrote blog posts on this site covering a variety of personal topics, mainly to put myself out there and get comfortable with my life being a little more of an open book (pardon the pun).

Those who know me in person know that I am not shy about sharing what’s going on in my life — that doesn’t mean it’s easy to put it out on the internet for all to read. This practice was helpful in allowing other eyes to be on content I had written, instead of it staying hidden in my computer for none to see.

Now I find that I will be maintaining this website, plus a new one for my business (currently under construction) and my time has become valuable and in need of focus.

My novel requires my focus.
My content writing business requires my focus.
My children and personal life require my focus.

 

With that in mind, I’ve decided to use this blog as a tool for my novel alone.

When I did NaNoWriMo a few years ago, I wrote the first 50,026 words of my novel. Then I changed my entire plot and threw away about 40,000 of those words (ouch — painful for a writer, but I had to go with my instincts on what the story was suppose to be). That is basically beginning all over again.

I did more research, and I wrote. I did even more research, and I wrote. I went on a research trip to explore all the places my characters lived and went to, as well as got my hands on books and old newspapers not available here, did interviews. And I wrote.

I’m still writing…while I start a business.

 

So it’s not going as quickly as some non-writers think it should. They don’t know that historical novels are some of the longest it takes to write. They don’t know how characters decide to switch things up without the author’s permission. New plot events change the course of a novel. These changes require the writer to go back, edit out previously written references to aspects of a character that no longer exists, fill in the new.

One example: My protagonist changed professions — whether I liked it or not. Now I have to edit all of that content significant to the story, delete every reference to it throughout the 76,000 words written. Instead, she now has a profession I know little to nothing about. This career change fits major portions of my book, which is exciting, and a little freaky, but requires me to learn everything about it from scratch.

Anyone know a metal designer/artist? That would help me out a lot, thanks.

So, back to the blog part of all of this.

With all of the research I have to do, and still desiring to keep up a more frequent writing practice outside of my novel and my business writing, I have decided to blog about some of the interesting items/stories/facts I uncover as I delve deeper into the lore of Ireland and lives of my characters. Some will reflect my life as I am further developing my novel — such as my last three posts about my research trip to Ireland.

They will not be about my business.
They will no longer reflect my personal life.

 

I am at a stage as a writer in which my limited time to write must be constructive — I see blog posts about my writing, novel, and what that entails to be so. I also see it as a way of formulating the information I am learning into concrete form for use in my novel as content or background information required for that content.

It also gives you a peek into what my novel will be about.

I hope you stick around to find out…