My project for this year, Shadowfall, is the direct sequel to my YA fantasy, The Shadow Conflict. This is the bare bones, off-the-seat-of-my-pants short synopsis:
The ambitions of Shadow tamer Sable have been put to rest, but the war is not over. The mad desires of her ancestor live on within her son’s very powers, resulting in Lord Jett’s glorious return. With Harmony, the heiress of Light, as his prisoner, he sets out to make the Council of Elements and all of Caeher his subordinates. To do so, he plots to infect the sources of all elemental power with darkness, thus tipping the balance in his favor. Only Braeden, Hadrian’s twin brother and fellow Shadow tamer, has the power to stop him, but first he must come to terms with his past if he’s to fight for his future. A future he still longs to spend with Harmony at his side.
I face a slight challenge with this despite it taking place in a world I am very familiar with. Until recently, the events from the sequel have only ever been in my head. There’s no early draft to reference. All I have to go on is events described in The Shadow Conflict. Shadowfall‘s outline is complete, if a bit scattered. I can see my thoughts at work as I rearrange events to suit the story’s flow. Because this is a story told through multiple POVs, I expect to do a lot of sorting. That’s the norm for this type of story, so I don’t feel too badly about a little disorganization.
Speaking of disorganization, I’m also reminding myself that this will be nowhere near the polished piece The Shadow Conflict is. It took me years to get that story to where it is now. Shadowfall is going to be messy, it’s going to be ugly, and it’s going to make me cringe. First drafts aren’t meant to be pretty (and if you say yours is, you’re lying). They’re meant to be something you hammer away at until you discover the real story beneath the mess of inconsistencies, dead end subplots and typos.
Still stumped on an idea? Lack an outline? Don’t know your MC’s name yet? Self-doubt threatening to kill your joy? Don’t fret, fellow WriMos! This is the best time to flex your creative muscles and go hog wild with whatever feels right. It’s all about doing something you love, and having fun with it even when it does its best to try your patience. So CHAAAAAAARGE!