I began this journey on March 9th of this year. A few days prior, I had finished up the writing the rough draft of my second novel, The Samurai and the Mountain. I was dead set on going on vacation to Cancun for a week to just set the book aside and let it fester in my head to dive headlong into the editing once I returned. That didn't happen. It turned out to be one hell of a snowstorm the day we were supposed to leave and we were holed up in a blizzard in a hotel in Syracuse, NY waiting for the runways to be cleared. At some point in those few days, an idea flickered on inside my head. An idea that stemmed from my original novel, The Seven Isaacs. It became a what if situation and the title showed itself to me. Alice the Fifth. I wouldn't say Alice is a sequel to the Seven Isaacs, but she definitely was influenced by it.
It all began there. In a hotel room, a few hours into a long, long wait for a flight time. I opened the iPad and the words began to flow. Alice only grew from there. Determined to not let the creativity slip away, as it so often can, I held my self to a schedule. To ritualistic writing. Pressfield's resistance is real and it is very hard to shake. The only cure for the resistance is routine. And that, I had established during the final months of Samurai. This routine came easy. Alice was fun and exciting. She was new and she was hot.
Right from the get go, I felt that I was onto something new and exciting for me. I knew I had found my voice with Alice. I was writing whatever the fuck I wanted. There's cursing. There's sex. There's nudity. Hell, there's even fucking emojis in the damn thing. And that's only the first three chapters. Writing in that way loosened the reins on my control and just let Alice become Alice. They always tell you to write what you know and I've never agreed with that. Yet with Alice, I wrote what I know in my own way and she opened creative doors that encouraged me to take leaps and just write. She let me be bold. She let me break some rules. She let me be whatever I wanted. It was a very refreshing experience.
Now, not to be mistaken, writing a novel is a task. It wasn't easy in the least bit. Each chapter provided new and confusing challenges for me that, again through routine and constant writing I was able to tackle head on and move past them. Yes, Alice became work, but it was work that I enjoyed. There were nights that I didn't even want to look at the bitch. There were days where all I wanted was to sleep in and forget the whole lot. Resistance. Dedication made Alice happen.
I am very proud of the now completed novel (rough draft), Alice the Fifth. It was an exciting experience for me, that yes, still needs a fuck load of work. I will deal with that work some other time. Alice was growth for me. She was a necessary step in a hopefully lucrative and long career in writing. I would love to be able to write for a living and quit my day job. Alice might not be the one to get me there, but she was my master's class in novel writing and the art of creativity.
I am looking forewarn to going back to the rewrite, copy edit and story editing. I blazed though the 625 pages. 125,000 words. I am curious to read what I wrote. To be honest, I don't have a fucking clue what happened at the beginning of the book. I do know that I connected all the dots and put everything together with a nice little bow and a shocking twist that even I didn't see until writing the last pages of the book. My planned ending was tossed out when the writing, The Universe brought me to the true ending of the book. It brought tears to my eyes. This book is a rollercoaster of emotions. I cried twice during the writing of it. I laughed a lot. And, I got excited for the exciting parts. I'm in love with Alice and now that she's finished, I am not quite sure what to do with myself now. That would explain why this post is one of the longest.
I suppose I should mention and thank my other half for the support while writing this book. She bought me the iPad that made this life so much easier for me. She's the one that nested beside me, kept me sane and slept just like this every night I would drink a little too much and write until the early morning hours. I probably couldn't have made it through this book without her clamoring to read my pages and forcing me to move forward on those days where I really didn't want to write. Thank you. I couldn't have done this without you.
Alice the Fifth. Rough Draft. 624 pages. 125,000 words. March 9th, 2017 – July 27th, 2017.