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My third book… DONE!

Yes, I know.  The Gungho Iguana has been a chameleon… disappearing for long stretches at a time, and being too silent here on the blog.  But I am not without my reasons, and now I have returned to hopefully be my regular blogging self.

So what have I been up to?  Several things, actually.  My Christmas break was actually quite busy.  Today I’ve started a new semester, and it seems that’s the “marker” to indicate things are settling down.  Funny how that works.

But in the cracks of Christmas break, I did some exciting things… shot a small film project, drove through a blizzard (well, a south Mississippi blizzard anyway), and finished my third book.

What?  You want to hear about the book?  Sure, I’ll oblige.

This is the 2nd installment of my series about Winter.  I’ve been calling it Legacy, but that title will change because it’s occurred to me that recently there have been a plethora of books and movies using the word legacy as part of the title.  Sigh.  I don’t suppose I could convince anyone that I picked that title three years ago?  No?  Then I’ll have to change it to something a little less over-used.

So how fared my characters?  Well, there was blood and mayhem, chaos and confusion.  And much to the disappointment of some of my facebook fans, I did not teach Winter how to dodge bullets.  (Yet… 😉 )

Over the Christmas break as I made the push to finish this first draft, I was reminded of why I enjoy writing.  I shared an experience with a few friends of a scene I wrote.  And it was one of those moments where God used my writing to speak to me, and it became an act of worship.  My fingers flew over the keyboard, but it was as if I were reading the words as they emerged on the screen rather than processing them through my brain and fingers.  I listen to music when I write… music to match the mood of the scene.  It just so happened that this most poignant and appropriate song started to play as I wrote this particular scene, making it even more emotional for me to type.

I write for those moments.  Do you know what I mean?  The moments alone with God as he reveals something to you as you write.  This is why I write, and this is how I worship when I write.  In those moments, it’s just me, God, and the words on the screen.  Later, they’ll be shared with others.  But I don’t write to share those moments, I write to discover those moments.  And with each moment of worship God gives me, the more in love I fall with writing.

And then there are those other moments.  You know these too.  These are the ones that give you an adrenaline buzz.  It’s a high that only a writer can understand.  I’m talking about those climax moments, when your characters are fleeing for their lives and for some reason you just can’t seem to type fast enough.  And when it’s over… when those who will be safe are finally safe… well, you breathe a big sigh as if you’ve just finished running a marathon.  Months of preparation and painstaking work had led up to that moment.  And when it finally came, you relished every.  single.  second.  Did it come out like you expected?  Or is it something better?  Did you maintain control?  Or did your characters take over?  You never know what will happen when you get there.  It’s such a rush to watch it all unfold.

I like those moments too.

So how does this book compare to the first?  What are the stats?  Well, the first draft of Winter weighed in at 78k words, and Legacy is a healthy 60k.  I was aiming for 80k for Legacy, but the story took over and finished quicker than I thought.  The 2nd draft of Winter grew to a pregnant 120k.  That’s an addition of 40k words.  But I put too much fat on it and later trimmed it to a nice 108k.  So if I can add meaningful words to Legacy in the second draft, my track record has it on par to reach somewhere in the neighborhood of 100k.

And what’s next for me?  I’ll let Legacy cool off for a month or two, and attack in earnest an unrelated-to-Winter outline that will probably be my next project.  I’m really excited about it because it has me returning to my fantasy roots and tackling a new-to-me attempt at romance.  I’ve pitched this to two publishers, and they both loved the premise.  Now I just have to deliver.  Oh, and at some point I’ve got to write 50k+ worth of academic papers.

“Wait… I thought you said this was your THIRD book?”  Yes I did.  My first book was my “practice book.”  It’s a fantasy and it sits on my shelf as a reminder of how much I’ve learned.  Maybe one day I’ll go back to it and give it the massive revision it deserves.  But that’s not on my to-do list at the moment.

So, Mr. Paul Baines, you may reset my line on the next monthly progress chart to an estimated 60k with a completion date of 1/17.  And then please put me down for 100%!

About Keven Newsome

Keven Newsome is an musician, theologian, and a bit of a nerd. He enjoys a variety of musical genres, from Christian rock to movie soundtracks to KPop. A former band director, he plays about a dozen instruments, given a couple of weeks to practice up. His theological work has included a book on multi-generational ministry and a thesis on the theology of communicating with the dead. As for his nerd-card, he enjoys the fandoms of The Legend of Zelda, Doctor Who, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Lord of the Rings. With a music degree from William Carey University and a theology degree from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Keven actively serves in ministry as both pastor and worship leader.

11 comments on “My third book… DONE!

  1. And even though he’s finished, the stubborn boy won’t let me read it yet. 🙄

    I love you and am uber-proud of you!

  2. Awesome, Keven! Typing those last words is an amazing feeling, isn’t it?

  3. Congratulations, that is quite an accomplishment!

  4. Congratulations, Keven! Not only on finishing the first draft, but on sharing this very inspiring post.

  5. Great job, Keven! I know that this series will do well once it’s published. 😀

  6. Huzrats! May the revisions go swiftly and your brain remain soft and squishy under all that pressure.

  7. Keven, I am in awe of your productivity. Cranking out a whole book, in addition to all the writing you do for school … astonishing. Congratulations.

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