Do you remember the retelling I've been working on? No? I don't blame you, given that I started writing it on July 13, 2014. And last night—2 years, 6 months, and 16 days later—I finally finished the first draft, which came in at just under 30,000 words. (Yep, that's less than 1000 words a month. This project has been slow going.)
Of course, in that same time frame, I've published three full-length novels and also drafted two (Tasting Temptation and L&S). Still, it's rough to compare the torturously slow pace of 30 months for 30,000 words with having completed the NaNoWriMo challenge three times (50,000 words in 30 days). Let's just say, nothing about this project has gone as expected. In fact, this project has become a collection of firsts for me, which I've listed below!
Not least of these surprises is the cover, which I purchased nearly a year ago. You read that correctly. Previously, I only considered cover designs when the text of a story was pretty close to being done—certainly close enough to send to beta readers. Have I mentioned that nothing with this story has really gone as planned? Well, last February, I noticed a pre-made cover on the Paper & Sage site that was almost perfect. Torn between waiting until the text was ready and snatching the cover up before someone else did, I ultimately decided to buy the cover right then. And I love the result! It's been agony not being able to share, which is why I decided to reveal the cover with the completion of the first draft and not wait until closer to publication, which is still quite a ways off.
So here goes. Below is the cover for Fallen, a contemporary retelling of Verdi's La Traviata set in Manhattan. What do you think??
New experiences with this project:
- First retelling, which is not something I ever thought I'd write!
- First story written in first-person narration, and first time writing in the present tense (which I also never thought I'd write—but this is one demanding story).
- First time submitting pieces to my critique group before finishing the initial draft.
- In fact, the opening scenes were already rewritten several times before the ending was even drafted.
- First time a draft took multiple years* to write.
- *Technically, my paranormal romance Mortal Musings was also started many years before it was finished, but once I decided to return to that story—rewriting the whole thing from scratch—the full draft only took months. In the case of Fallen, the one and only draft spanned those two and a half years.
- As I mentioned, this is the first time the cover was ready almost a year before being revealed (and more than a year before publication).
- First time I revealed a cover before the blurb has even been written.
- First time writing in a genre other than a romance for publication.
- I've written a variety of genres when it comes to flash fiction or classroom exercises, of course. (And there's my poetry collection, but shhh—you know what I mean.)
- Fallen would be classified as a "love story," not a romance.