Saturday, I got to write these words on the fifth draft of my novel, Kaimerus. This concluded the third rewrite and about 320,000 words that I’ve put into this project. Kaimerus is not done yet, I still need to go through and polish some parts that are first draft quality, but most of the plot holes have been fixed and the ending is what I want.
For those who haven’t heard about Kaimerus, I describe it as, “Firefly crashes on Avatar and wakes up 28 Days Later.” It explores freedom, ambition and the pride and selfishness that leads to our destructive nature all in a whirlwind day fighting telepaths and berzerkers in a jungle far from their home.
I am about a month past when I wanted to get through this draft, but it was a self imposed deadline. I decided to go back to the 60% mark to shore up my telepathy technology and then edited up to where I needed to rewrite the ending. I’m glad I did because the conflict I changed at 60% helped me know what conflict I would have to resolve in the end.
Writing the new ending was a slow process. I averaged 600 words a day, partly because I refused to write something that bored me. My book has berserkers, and I felt I had already exhausted the plot point of fighting them off, so I had to find a new conflict for the end that centered on character issues left unresolved. I also didn’t know what my book was really about theme wise, but by resolving character arcs I discovered the theme/resolution as I wrote the last page. I was afraid to write an end that wouldn’t work, but just did the hard work of getting there and in the end I think it did work. It’s silly to not write because you aren’t sure whether what you write will work. Just write and determine later if it does or not.
What a relief! I have learned to trust the process of line by line, write what needs written and the story will resolve itself in the end. Short story writing helped this confidence considerably, but I admit I was worried about my ability to resolve a 125,000 word novel. I’d say I couldn’t be happier with the resolution I have, but I’m sure it will develop further as I edit. The important thing is I know what happens fits with the story I want, so any changes will be minor. I wanted an ending that allowed this to be a stand alone novel, but could be expanded into a series if readers demand I do so. Making the science work and exploring the complexities of telepaths in two of my three POV’s was an incredible challenge. If readers love this story, I feel I’m able to keep writing in this universe, but I’m also eager to dive into a new genre that is more “write what you know.” I may prefer Urban Fantasy where I can make up a magic system, or a weird thriller like LOST.
I’ll write another blog post soon about where I go from here, whether I will send this to beta readers or an editor next. I’m still not sure if I want to self-publish, submit to a small publisher or go the agent route. I’m grounded enough to know that whatever route I choose will not make me rich and famous and that what will matter more is getting the next book written. Right now, I’m enjoying the weight off my shoulders and the confidence that I can do this. The rewriting process has been incredibly daunting, but my Lord has helped me overcome. This is a new level in my growth as an author, and I couldn’t be more excited.