My Writing History
Hey guys, I thought it would be fun today to share with you my history of writing detailing my timeline and projects along the way. My author journey was not without hiccups and definitely taught me so much on the road to publication last year.
I wrote my first ‘book’ in 2005 when I was 6 years old. It was a children’s book titled, “Rosey’s Pet” about a girl who wants – you guessed it – a pet. This book was followed the next year by a picture book titled, “Edgar and Chippie,” about a wolf and a chipmunk who are best friends and have a misadventure with a river and a boat.
I wrote a couple other ‘sequels’ to “Rosey’s Pet” over the years, took a stab at a fantasy ‘novel’ when I was around 10 – which was basically a copy of my favourite book at the time – and started a few other stories. Throughout all of this, I never once considered that I should be a writer.
I didn’t have my first taste of being a true writer until 2013 when I decided to write my first novel. I realized that over the years I’d started many projects, but never finished them. So I was determined to see one through to the end and then see if being a writer truly suited my fancy.
And so, the first draft of Summer’s Revenge began. It took me 2 years to write the first draft of my first novel and though I considered quitting several times, by the time I was done, I was hooked. I had to keep writing. I had to see how the story ended.
I began the first draft of book 2 in the fantasy trilogy – then titled Winter Prevails – shortly after and finished it in 6 months. It’s amazing what dedication can do; I’d quartered my drafting time. Of course, both these first drafts are absolute garbage, looking back at them now, but I was so proud of my progress back then.
I started a few other novels after that, a middle grade vampire book, a fantasy about ninjas, a dystopian with soul sucking demons, and an elven fantasy. The elven fantasy was meant to be my next big project. I’d created a map, a basic language, and outlined all 4 books of the series, but it wasn’t meant to be. Another better idea had caught my attention: Silent Night.
I first came up with Silent Night when reading various books on writing and doing some writing prompts. I’d written a couple chapters and done very minimal brainstorming. It was yet another project I had dabbled in, but when it came time to dive head first into my elven fantasy, Silent Night suddenly wanted all of my attention. So I did what any writer would do. I dropped everything and ran with Silent Night. I used it as my first ever Nanowrimo project in 2015 and my goal was to write 1000 words a day. I finished the month with 34k and decided to keep going with my daily word count until I finished the book. Draft 1 was complete on December 27th and I had written 53,000 more words that month.
Then, I largely forget about it for a few years. I sent it to a couple friends to read for fun, but I didn’t really touch it. I moved on to the conclusion of my first fantasy trilogy next.
The timeline gets a bit foggy now.
I know I had plans to write a contemporary mystery coming of age novel for Nanowrimo 2016, but guess what happened? I was only a few days in when the sequel for Silent Night pulled me aside in a dark alley and told me it was her time to shine. And so I wrote that one instead. Anyone seeing a pattern here? The Guild Trilogy wanted to be front and centre and still I had my mind set on publishing Summer’s Revenge first.
I’d received feedback from friends, written at least 5 different drafts of book 1 and 2 by then, though lord knows how I found the time. And yet, deep down, my subconscious mind knew they were not ready to see the world, at least, not in the way I originally planned.
After careful thought, I decided to upload Summer’s Revenge to Wattpad, to get some exposure and have the book read, even if I didn’t make any money. That in itself was a great learning experience. I had fun coming up with chapter titles and images and posting new chapters once a week. While I didn’t have many readers, I think it was worth it. I edited the book up to the 7th draft and published the first few chapters at the end of September, 2017.
Then came Nanowrimo 2017. I bet you can’t guess what happened there. I had a collab project all planned with my friend and we did it for about a week and then school and stuff got in the way and we set the project aside. So what did I start instead? The third assassin book. By this point, I was starting to realize just how important this trilogy was to me.
I finished the third book in the Guild Trilogy on July 9th, 2018 and it was around this time that I first had real thoughts of publishing. I decided to go for it. August was a month of prepping my second fantasy book for upload to Wattpad and going back to Silent Night, the first book in the Guild Trilogy. I spent around a month writing in depth character profiles and actually doing some world building. Yes, you read that right – I didn’t world build the Guild Trilogy until after I’d drafted all 3 books.
In late August, I started the second draft of Silent Night and finished 2 months later. The third draft took 1 month and then I sent it to a Critique Partner. My fourth draft took another month and then I sent Silent Night off to Beta Readers. During this time when Silent Night was off limits to me, I read through book 2 in the trilogy and then started the first draft of another book: Project Madness.
I had no real concrete goals for Project Madness for a while, with everything I was doing for Silent Night. The Beta process finished around the first of May and I spent May doing the fifth and sixth draft before sending it to be professionally edited. That’s when I got serious with Project Madness and pledged to write 30k in July for Camp Nanowrimo. I surpassed this goal by about 2000 words and finished the first draft of Project Madness in the first half of August.
Life got pretty hectic in September and October. I did the 7th draft of Silent Night based off my editor’s feedback. I also did the formatting, ordered proofs, and did a proof read, and dealt with all the chaos that comes with uploading a novel to KDP for publishing. If that wasn’t enough to deal with, I decided to write the 2nd draft of book 2 in October.
Am I crazy?
I think by now we’ve established that yes, in fact, I am, but that’s okay!
Silent Night was published on October 23rd (available in ebook and paperback at an Amazon near you) and I finally had time to sit back and relax, which I did, for approximately a week.
I can’t sit idle for very long. Come November I was on another project, but I think that’s a story for another time.
I hope you guys enjoyed this stroll back through memory lane, this glimpse into the insane world of my writing journey. There is truly never a dull moment and I am almost never not working on something, be it novel, short story or poetry.
For more updates on my writing journey going forward, subscribe to my newsletter, follow me on Facebook at Emma Couette, and/or follow me on Instagram at emmathewriter.