I know I have other things to chat about. But this is on my mind.

A Sword’s Poem was the historic fantasy I’d planned on writing after I’d finished The Jaguar and the Wolf. I’ve actually written the first 19K words.

The main character loses her mate in the first chapter, then is in denial about her mourning process through much of the rest of the novel.

Then I lost my mother.

It was impossible for me to write a character who was going through such a different mourning process. I had to put it away.

The novel is set in the early Heian period of Japan, around 680 AD, just as things were starting to change.

The hook?

Hikaru is a fox fairy. Her mate is killed, his soul, stolen, then reforged into a sword. Hikaru must find the sword and break the curse–but it’s never as easy as that.

I’d originally envisioned the novel with six, first person point of views. That’s really not doing me any favors. I know why I did it–all the journals from the time are written in first person. And there are 10 novels/journals from this time period.

I think the main character’s story should still be in first person — she’s in so much pain and grief, the reader needs distance from that. I think the scenes from the POV of the sword won’t work unless they’re first person. But the others should all be redrafted into third person.

Could I go back and write this novel now? I think so. I took extensive notes while I did 12+ months of research for it.

Plus, enough time has passed. The other problem with this novel was that I plotted out too much of it. There wasn’t enough left for me to discover, to make it interesting to write. I can ignore all of what I had planned now.

I’m not convinced that I’ll go back to write this novel. I kind of want to, though. Some of it’s so pretty. I was steeped in Japanese poetry when I started: it shows in the language. I like the characters, and I still can see some of the scenes further on in the novel. It’s just — time, as much as anything else.

The good news is that I read through the first chapter of Siren’s Call, the novel I’m supposed to write next. It’s in pretty good shape — MUCH better shape than Zydeco Queen. It needs some updating, but I think I can go through with that novel as well. And it won’t take me too long to finish.

So we’ll see what the next novel, after Siren’s Call, turns out to be — if it’s a brand new novel, Popcorn Thief or the historic fantasy.

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