Wednesday Warble: That’s a wrap! Ish…

joshua winning sentinel blog postEvery Wednesday (or whenever he feels like it), Sentinel author Joshua Winning will be checking in to variously vent, whine and blab about a topic that’s playing havoc with his tiny little mind .

This week: that’s a wrap! Ish…

That’s a wrap! Well, sort of anyway. After a year of planning, writing, re-planning and re-writing, the second draft of Ruins (book two of the Sentinel Trilogy) is complete at 90,000 words.

Which isn’t to say it’s finished by any means. Every writer knows that any piece of writing (whether it’s a book, short story, article or screenplay) has to go through at least a dozen drafts before it even slightly resembles what you originally had in your head – and sometimes what you had in your head needs a little editing. But that isn’t going to stop me celebrating finally having a completed manuscript for the second book in the Sentinel Trilogy.

It’s been a weird, occasionally frustrating, mostly invigorating experience. (I wrote another post about it a few months ago here.) Some characters took me down unexpected cul-de-sacs while others were completely written out after the first draft. I was particularly upset that I had to cut one new character, but she came part and parcel of a subplot that turned out to be a bit of a dead end, mostly because it drew too much attention away from Nicholas. I’m sure I’ll find a way to fit her into another story down the line.

Now I find myself in The Tinker Zone, a terrifying place where I really should leave the manuscript to ferment for a few weeks before I go back and start working on improving it. The Tinker Zone is particularly dangerous because there’s actually a full manuscript to work with, but I know I’m far too close to it to make any informed/unbiased decisions about it.

I already have a list of tune-ups that need to be completed. Those include fleshing out character motivations, looking for any continuity problems, and generally tightening up the prose.

So to distract myself, here are a few things about Ruins that have me really excited:

– I love the main villain. I won’t spoil anything, but I really enjoyed writing him (he does some really mean things).

– There are some pretty nasty monsters this time around (yes, even nastier than Diltraa).

Ruins feels more complex than Sentinel. If Sentinel was the ‘origins story’, Ruins is the development of the world that Sentinel introduced. I’ve loved revealing more about the Sentinels – who they are, where they came from and just what the heck the Trinity really is.

– On the good guy front, there’s also some fun stuff with Isabel the cat, and Nicholas finds himself right at the centre of the action this time around. Has he really got what it takes to become a Sentinel? This is going to hurt…

– On top of all that there’s a death scene that nearly had me short-circuiting my laptop with tears.

– And last but by no means least, we see the return of a certain redheaded baddie who still gives me chills. If I could only write her until the day I die, I’d be a happy little writer…

Okay, that’s enough spoiler-y stuff. I’m off for a celebratory lunch, after which I should probably hurl myself into sorting out my plan for book three of the trilogy. The Tinker Zone beckons and I must resist…

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