At last it’s the long awaited, long promised post about The Darkling Watch. The entry that I’ve been promising for a while, many, many weeks in fact. I’m struggling to think about where to start. I suppose at the beginning is the best place to start.
The Darkling Watch is part of a series. The series itself focuses on the beings known as the Darklings. The Darklings is the collective name for the supernatural beings that live within our worlds, the vampires, werewolves, shape-shifters and witches, staying hidden from human eyes. The Watch is the police force of this world, comprised of different Darklings and their human helpers who call themselves the Admin. The Darkling Watch is actually probably the end book(s) given that I’ve now reworked the ending (more on that later) and it’s not completely happy. I’ve got other novels vaguely planned that feature characters from this part of the series but they come before the novel starts. So basically I’m working from the back to the beginning. I think. The Darkling Watch is about a girl who is killed, basically at the very beginning, but who is brought back to life and thrown into the world of the Darklings. It’s slowly revealed that what happens to Nadia (our Main Character) wasn’t an accident but that a deranged god has been pulling her strings for many years. Who? Loki, the prankster god of Norse mythology, with a twist. Why? To bring about Ragnarok and end the world.
This novel was a NaNo novel, written for NaNoWriMo, and I only decided to take part about halfway through October. The planning was rushed, the characters were only vaguely described and I had no idea about chapters or anything like that. I had written before but I’d never managed to finish an entire novel. I managed to plan about halfway through, making detailed notes on scenes etc. After that things got a little foggy and I only had vague outlines for each scene. So after I hit the end of my detailed notes I started pantsing. That led to some interesting developments to say the least. Something about writing late at night leads to weird things happening in my mind. Granted, some of these developments were pretty awesome and I couldn’t have thought of them while I was just sat there thinking and planning. It has led to things being quite complicated and the completed novel now needs a lot of work.
The biggest piece of work I’m having to do, before I even think about editing phrasing of sentences and fixing all the little details, is reading through the novel and separating it up into chapters. As I’ve gone through I’ve spotted missing scenes and the fact is that these have made the story even bigger. So it’s ended up with me having to split the manuscript into two, possibly three separate books. I don’t actually have a problem with this, it gives me a chance to explore my characters and their emotions more, building on things that are only briefly touched up but need more attention to them. To put it shortly, the editing I’m doing is making it even bigger. And I like it. Much of my writing right now, as it stands is mostly telling, not showing as writers are encouraged to do. Not worrying about making the novel bigger means I get to hone these skills and get my characters showing how they feel, focusing on emotions and thoughts rather than just ‘he felt sad’, ‘she wanted to kiss his mouth’ and so on. Also I need to add in a timeline in my notes. Right now everything in the story happens very quickly. Nadia falls in love with a shifter too quickly for it to be authentic. Everything gets very rushed along and I need to stretch the time that the novel covers. Making it even longer.
Now... another thing that makes it even longer, possibly into a third book, making The Darkling Watch a trilogy is the research I’ve been doing. Early on in the writing stage I decided that Loki, Norse god of mischief and general iffy character, would be my antagonist. Thing was I didn’t know much about Norse mythology. So, once the novel was finished, I tracked down a few books on Norse mythology. As I worked on it I began to develop new ideas for both The Darkling Watch and my NaNo novel. What struck me most was the myth about Ragnorok, signalled by the freeing of Loki from his chains. In my novel Loki gets free and tries to end the world. With my research though I’m starting to think that maybe the end of the world should get closer to actually happening by the end and they all live happily ever after. The idea of shoving my characters through 3 years of winter is appealing, I do admit.
Yes I’m evil.
Why am I so relaxed about the time I’m taking to edit The Darkling Watch? Why do I not mind the fact that my novel has now turned into two, possibly three, books? Simply put... I’m self-publishing; on Amazon kindle and possibly in paperback. First though I need to finish the story and then I’ve got to find someone who can help with my cover. I have got a few ideas about that actually but more on the topic of book covers at a later date. But before all that I need to find a group of beta readers, something I’m not sure how to do, after the edits are done of course. For now though I’m enjoying the work and taking my time. I’m young and there’s nothing rushing me right now.