A burden is lifted

J.M. Aucoin . Hope & Steel (Darion Delerue), Writer's Life, Writing about writing 1516 No Comments

A few years ago I started writing what was my third attempt at a full-length novel, Gascon & the Spaniard. Took over a year to finish and it went pretty far off the rails in terms of what my original outline was. It wasn’t bad, but the first half and second half didn’t really jive anymore, and some of the characters weren’t living up to their full potential. Also, the title didn’t really work. So when it came to revising time last year I decided to just burn the sucker to the ground and start from scratch. The plot’s basically the same, but the plot now makes sense from start to finish, characters are a bit better written (I think), and it got a new title — Honor Amongst Thieves.

And I’m stoked to say that I finally finished Draft 2.1 on Sunday. A huge burden was lifted off my shoulders as I came to the last page. It’s now off to a handful of test readers which is a whole new slate of worries — an interesting mix of I hope they love this! with I hope they rip it to shreds so I can make it even better!

(I sweat writing is one of the most bi-polar things I do… I’m also constantly stuck between must perfect this! and I’m done with this project; I want to move on to the next one now!)

J.M. Aucoin

This is the face of a guy who just finished another draft of his novel. Oh yea…

But seriously, I’ve been working on this story for sooo long now that I’ve hit that magical spot where I can’t look at the story objectively anymore. I’m also numb to the work. I need new set of brains, a fresh pair of eyes to go over the story and tell me what they like, didn’t like, loved, loathed, and all that other good stuff. I got a nice mix of folks reading, and I’m in their debt that they’re taking time out of their own lives to help me out. It’s nice to have friends like that. Here’s a good representation of what I was like trying to choose from all the offers of help:

After I get notes from the beta readers, there’s another round of revisions and then off to an editor. With any luck Honor Amongst Thieves will be out before the end of the year. That’s the goal anyways. *fingers crossed*.

And last night I stated the process of looking for a cover artist. Hours spent pouring through DeviantArt and looking at other books to find out who did the artwork and I racked up a very small list of styles that I think would work great for the novel. Now I wait to see if folks are interested in. I’m also working on trying to get some fun internal artwork like you used to see in the old adventure pulps and classic swashbucklers. We’ll see what the budget works for that.

But yea, huge milestone. Felt like a giant burden was lifted off my shoulders, but there’s still plenty of work to be done. While I prep this book for print I’ve already started a new stand-alone novel that I’m really excited about.

And as a super teaser summary for Honor Amongst Thieves… it’s a historical adventure novel in 17th Century France during King Henry IV’s reign. It pre-dates the Three Musketeers by about fifteen years or so (for some context). France is on the verge of a military alliance with the Low Lands against Spain when an incident occurs that puts the alliance and France’s future at risk. And the only ones who can help are a former highwayman, a one-eyed soldier, and the lieutenant of the king’s Forty-Five Guardsmen.

I’ll work on a better elevator pitch later, but it’s after midnight so it’s good enough for now. (Note to self: Work on marketing blurb)

J.M. Aucoin

Author. Fencer. Sometimes actor. Full-time nerd. I write swashbucklers & historical adventure novels.

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