I added two chapters, about 10.5k words, to the original story. Those two chapters didn’t come to me as easily as the first seven, but that’s mostly because all my writing energy for the story was finished. This is why I try to get everything done all at once, because once it’s written, writing any more is hard. I can edit and cut down and polish til kingdom come, but writing more than a few sentences on a project I’d already finished (in theory) is like pulling teeth. Also, I had a bad week while I was writing it, which I’m sure helped slow me down. But it’s written, and I think it’s good. I’m going to edit on Friday and resubmit some time this weekend.
There’s a lot of sex in this one. Winter Howl and particularly Wolf Girl had a good amount of sex, but those two were also very heavy on the plot. Forces of Nature, on the other hand, has a plot as flimsy as gift wrap. It’s more of a character study, really. And while I’m usually all about the plot, I’ve come to recognize the virtue of letting the plotty plot go a little.
For instance, I used to love the Lusty Month of May Lupin fanfic marathon every May back when I was fanficcing on the regular. Every day, you had to write and post at least 500 words of at least teen-rated fanfiction all through the month of May. So every chapter or section had to be a little smutty to a lot smutty. This meant that your plot basically had to be centered around sex. And there were a lot of really good stories that came out of it, sometimes about sex, sometimes about something else, but the plots weren’t always … there? Yet they were hella fun and I sometimes go back and read some of them, because stories about people are sometimes just as good as stories about people doing things.
It’s the reason that Forces of Nature is under 60k words instead of over 90k, which is my usual “serious” novel length. But that also means that it’ll be someone’s nice midnight snack for a week or so rather than a full meal. There’s a place for frothy fun just as much as there’s a place for a nutritious meal. And I think I like it. Maybe I’ll make a March habit out of it, a little bit of spring fever.
I’m still very happy with Forces of Nature, even more so now that I feel it’s properly complete. It’s a lot of sex, y’all, but it’s sex that really wanted to happen between characters I love hanging out with. I need to remind myself to listen to my characters and not my own impatience next time. It’s so much easier to cut than add scenes.
I decided not to add a bonus prequel scene, however. Instead, in a few years I think I’ll put out a free anthology of Sanctuary series and Forces of Nature shorts. There’s some serious magical overlap between these stories. And who knows? By then I may have more characters to add into the mix.