Writers are renowned for being world-class procrastinators. Seriously, if there were ever a Procrastination Olympics, we would sweep the board. If we weren't too busy looking at Buffy gifs on Tumblr to turn up. And thanks to fellow kidlit writer Patrick Samphire (whose amazing-sounding Secrets of the Dragon Tomb I cannot wait to get my paws on), I got to procrastinate with the ridiculously fun Pulp-o-Mizer cover maker this week. No, my covers will not look anything like this (I'm sure they will be WAY better), but how cool are they all the same??
Something else really fun also happened this week. The lovely and talented artist Scribblewolf made an adorable papercut of my main character Jinx, from Brimstone for Breakfast. Again, I don't think he'll end up looking quite like this in the book (although who knows!), but how cool is it?
Finally, I spent yesterday morning working on my sequel, and when I say working on my sequel I mean 'drawing a really bad map of the city in my book'. Most of the action in Brimstone for Breakfast happens beyond the city walls in Outer Hell, but the sequel will focus more on the city of Pandemonium, home to most of the demons in Hell. Even though I can't draw, I like to try to get an overview of a few of the important places in my story so I can visualise it better. This is a quick first draft, so there'll be plenty more cool places to come, but anyway, for your amusement, here it is...
And now I should probably stop procrastinating and get back to that aforementioned sequel. What about you guys, do you draw maps or characters from your books to help with inspiration and planning?
This post originally appeared many eons ago on my old blog, at a time when I was attempting to pen my very first novel with a quill and ink made from the blood of ravens (tricky to catch - would not recommend). Since it seemed to make a lot of people giggle I thought I'd revisit it and spruce it up with ALL THE KNOWLEDGY STUFF I NOW STORE IN MY BRAIN. Except it turns out I pretty much nailed it back then. Also, I don't actually have any knowledgy stuff in my brain. So behold the Stages of Fear in all their Nostradamus-like glory...
1) Who am I kidding I can’t write a novel, I’ve no idea what a gerund is and the only thing I’ve ever written is my diary and terribad teenage poetry and WTF I‘m supposed to write 75,000 words I‘m pretty sure that‘s unpossible and why did I ever think a story about the forbidden love between a shapeshifting dinosaur and the head of the secret police was a good idea??
2) Ugh this novel is a steaming pile of cat litter, how on earth am I going to knock it into any kind of shape it’s going to take me ten years just to edit out all the adverbs and what does my beta reader *mean* when they say "the rising action doesn’t subscribe to the usual three-act structure and are you sure you want to break the fourth wall and the ending left me feeling like a jilted bride"??
3) Writing a query is worse than being water-boarded in a tank full of spiders, how can I possibly summarise my 200,000-word semi-autobiographical masterpiece into two paragraphs and who am I kidding no agent will ever take me on anyway. Waddya mean I need a synopsis too oh just kill me now.
4) Oh no I’ve been offered representation, it’s only a matter of time till Ms Fabulous Agent discovers I was bluffing and have no idea whatsoever how to write and that I’m more socially inept than Mark Zuckerberg and then she’s going to drop me quicker than a sack of grenades maybe I should just run away to Mongolia and never come back.
5) Holy cupcakes Batman I’ve been on submission for a million years, clearly all the editors hate me and think my book has as much literary merit as an Ikea instruction leaflet I’m never going to get published and then my agent is going to push me down a flight of stairs for wasting his time dear Lord where’s the bourbon?
6) OMG my book is coming out in six months, real people I’ve never met are going to read it and *reviewers* are going to review it and excoriate it while I sob and I’ve somehow signed up for eighty-three blog tours I don’t have time to do and the cover makes it look like a horror novel even though it’s a poignant memoir of self-discovery and I am just going to go and sit in the wardrobe and rock back and forth now.
7) Who persuaded me it was a good idea to have a book launch, no one is going to turn up even my mother said she’s busy cleaning the lint out of her dryer I’m so going to end up reading to an empty room and then I have a school visit as well I can see it now it'll be just like Lord of the Flies those kids are going to eat me for breakfast and laugh while they do it.
8) Help no one is buying my book, my publisher is totally going to drop me and why has my Amazon rating not moved since yesterday and why are there far too many numbers in it? Who is booklovr436 because I swear I am going to find him and set fire to his house for giving me one star because ‘the book was shoddily packaged’.
9) Oh dear Lord I have to write another novel, what if it was all a fluke and my muse is on extended holiday in Mexico and never comes back plus now everyone mistakenly thinks I’m a real author and I have a deadline that has to be a joke I wonder if you can buy an intravenous vodka drip on eBay?
Tatum Flynn is the author of devilish MG fantasies The D'Evil Diaries and Hell's Belles (Orchard/ Hachette Kids), and several unfinished To Do lists.