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Why Is It Taking Me So Long To Write The Second Elixir Book?

Posted by Katie L. Carroll on March 24, 2017 in Anecdote, Books, Creativity, Elixir Bound, Elixir Saved, Family, Kylene, WIP, Writing, Young Adult |

It’s been over four years since the ebook version of ELIXIR BOUND came out and over three years since the paperback version released (so forever in terms of publishing a companion novel). I’m sad to report that I’m only about 2/3 finished with the draft of the companion novel ELIXIR SAVED. And even once the draft is done, I’ll still need to revise and such. So why exactly is it taking me so long to write the second Elixir book?

Well, it’s complicated (isn’t everything!?). For starters, there are the less-than-stellar sales stats of BOUND. I wasn’t expecting a best-seller or anything, but it’s been hard to press on with a second book when the first has low sales. So, yeah, I’ve worked on other projects in between. And, no, I don’t write for the sales or the money, but the validation of selling books doesn’t suck.

There’s also life. I have kids and do freelance work (and blog). I like reading books and watching TV and getting out every once in awhile to do grown-up things. Writing novels is an important part of my life and I’ve gotten more consistent with actually, ya know, writing, but it doesn’t always take top priority.

Then there’s the fact that I’m not a very fast writer. Even when I’m in a good flow and I’ve been writing consistently, my word counts are just not that high. I’ve done a lot of things with the drafting of SAVED to try and speed up the process. I mapped out all the scenes I still need to write. I’ve set timers in order to write without editing myself for that set amount of time. I did a modified NaNoWriMo in November to try and finish this draft.

And now I’m here on the blog writing about how I’m not writing the book. Blah, blah, blah, wah, wah, wah! I know…but all those reasons I mentioned above are not the main reason why it’s taking me so long to write ELIXIR SAVED.

The real reason why it’s taking me so long to write the second Elixir book is because one of the main characters is based on my sister Kylene, who passed away at the age of 16. My intention when I wrote BOUND was to give Kylene a fantasy adventure of her own. I started the book in her POV (point of view), but it was too damn hard to write, so it ended up in the POV of her sister. It’s been almost 15 years since she passed away and it’s still hard to write this story, her story. It feels so presumptuous and impossible to do her justice in what are ultimately my words. It’s emotionally draining and terrifying.

But it’s a story I know I have to tell…eventually. It would be far worse for me to never tell it than to have a hard time doing it.

So I keep reminding myself that I’m not writing from Kylene’s POV. That’s impossible. Only she could do that. Instead, I’m writing from the POV of a character that’s inspired by Kylene. It may seem like a small distinction, but it makes all the difference in be being able to persist in drafting this novel. Though it doesn’t necessarily make it easier.

It’s a process that refuses to be rushed. I do my best to push myself to continue the task, but I’ve come to realize it’s just gonna take time. I’ll keep slowly working on it (while I also work more efficiently on other novels) and one day it will be done. Well, as done as any book ever is.

Thank you to anyone who’s read ELIXIR BOUND and/or inquired about a follow up book. It coming…one of these years!

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12 Comments

  • Chris Carroll says:

    Self-therapy is a life-long process … and quality is not measured by time, but by excellence. Press on!

  • Beverly says:

    I wish I had words of advice for you, but I don’t. I can not know the emotions you are feeling. Don’t hurry. When the time is right, your heart will tell you what to say. And your story will be told.

  • ssnroyal says:

    I understand, Katie. I published 4 books in 4 years. When my husband died a year and a half ago, I was in the middle of writing my fifth, a book about a young man growing up in the hill country in the 60s. Since then, I’ve had trouble. I can’t seem to sit down and lose myself in my writing the way I did before. It’s been a struggle. I second guess myself. For a while I put it away altogether. Maybe we’re trying to hard. Maybe we’re trying to say too much. It’s hard to know. But we’ll keep trying and some day we’ll finish our tribute to our loved ones, and when we do, they’ll know.

    • Thank you so much for sharing here, Susan. Mourning is a strange and long process that is unique to each person experiencing it. I think it’s easy to be hard on ourselves even when we know we should be giving ourselves a break. Keep at it, and I hope the words begin to flow again before too long. If not, it’s okay to take the time you need. Hugs!

  • Kai says:

    I have a middle grade book that is stalled. The 3 main characters are loosely based on me, my best friend, and a friend we lost. It was already an emotional story to tell and then I lost my mom. I haven’t been able to revisit that book since. It’s a story I really want to tell, too, so I know I’ll get to it again one day. When the time is right. I don’t know specifically what you are going through, but I understand the struggle some of these stories present. Cyber hugs for the courage you show each time you open that story. I’m sure Kylene is cheering you on. As am I.

    • You’ve always been one of my best writing cheerleaders, Kai. Thanks for all the support, advice, and encouragement. I’m here when you are ready to tell the story of you and your friends and need a reader for it. Hugs to you!

  • I’m a slow writer, so I understand your frustration, Katie. But novels are big and unwieldy, it takes time for them to come together properly – at least in my experience. Good luck and I look forward to reading Elixir Saved whenever it comes out 😉

  • C. M. Savage says:

    Thank you for sharing your struggles with your story. Maybe it’s just coincidence that I read this post today, maybe it’s fate. A year ago today, I lost a younger brother. I have what I think of as his story plotted out and ready to write, but haven’t done any major writing for it yet. I just haven’t been able to. Reading your post and everyone’s comments has reminded me that grieving is a process and takes time. You are right, it can’t be rushed. I wish you all the best with your story and look forward to reading Elixir Saved when you are done.

    • So sorry about your brother, C.M. Grieving is a process, one that continually shapes my life. Thanks for your kind words. We’ll get our stories written…keep working on being patient with yourself. Hugs!

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