It’s been a long time in the making, but I have finally finished editing my second novel, Like Pigs. It is now in a publishable state, so I am currently submitting it to literary agents and publishers.
This means that now have the time (both physically and mentally) to get started on my next project. And so, the next major project that I have just started working on is what will be my third novel. The working title is Human Zoo, and it is a creative project that I’ve wanted to write for a long time now.
I’m always excited to start a new novel, especially in the plotting/planning stages. I have written a few draft chapters of the novel, and I have outlined the bare bones of the narrative. Now comes the best part: fleshing all of that out and delving deep into the nitty-gritty of the story writing.
I feel like I learned a lot from the writing process of Like Pigs. Originally, that piece was a (rather long) short story/novella designed as the final piece of my MA in Creative Writing. I loved the idea that I’d generated so much that I yearned to transform the story into a full-length novel. When I received incredibly positive feedback (and a great score) from my course tutor, I felt confident that Like Pigs had the potential to be a good novel. Now, I can’t say for sure that I certainly achieved that, but I’m more than pleased with what I’ve written. Whether or not it will be published any time soon, however, remains to be seen.
Still, I learned a lot from the whole process – from the early stages of writing it as a novella and all of the planning that went into the story in that form, to the further research, plotting, and character development that went into extending the word count into that of novel length. I experimented a lot with my style and encountered a lot of stumbling blocks along the way as a result. Still, I produced something that I was, and still am, really happy with.
Human Zoo builds on that experience and rolls with my newfound momentum and evolved work ethic. The novel itself will be another stand-alone piece; however, the story is based in the same world as that of Like Pigs. Without spoiling too much, the former will be a spiritual prequel of sorts to the latter.
I’m hoping to have the first draft completed in a number of weeks – whether that is a realistic target or not! I love editing my stories so much that I’m itching to finish the initial draft so that I can get started with the editorial stages.
In other news, I have been writing a lot of poetry over the past few months. I am planning a collection of poems, which I aim to self-publish. It will concern the topic of grief, which is something I have gained a considerable amount of experience with recently. My aim with this collection is to help provide comfort for those going through the stages of grief and to remind them that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how unlikely that may seem.