It’s been a couple of frustrating writing months since I last posted an update on such things. Going through a patch where writing is more of a struggle than a joy right now. Which I know happens, but it’s still frustrating. For example, that story about sentient plant life w/an older woman protagonist I was working on in April went nowhere. And I’m in the midst of rewriting “Piper Deez and the Case of the Clanless Woman.” Continue reading
Posts Tagged With: The Travelers
I’ve been on vacation from the dayjob this week and it’s been lovely. But I’ve let the blog slide. I owe you a Monday Morning Music, there’s a book review I need to write, and it’s time for another update on my writing. Let’s do that one! Continue reading
So, when I posted my end-of-year roundup on my writing in December, I was thinking of making that kind of post a regular thing, updating all y’all on how the writing’s going.
And now it’s March. Yeah, I’m not always so good on following through with stuff.
So, how is that writing stuff going, M?
Alpha Reader finished the sub-zero still-not-finished draft of The Travelers last week, and he had thoughts, the main one being that he didn’t really see what one of my characters brought to the story.
Um, that would be a guy named John Teague, the character that kind of got the whole story rolling because I thought he would be interesting.
Apparently, the interesting bits are still in my head. Which, okay, Alpha Reader is right. I know this. It’s just all those bits are really vague and/or scattered at this point.
Let me be honest. Mr. Teague intimidates me. Not in a scary, violent way; he’s not that kind of guy. But his story is huge. Deep and wide. Stuff like that. And I’m not really sure how to tell it, including not knowing what to leave out. I really don’t want to fuck it up.
So, I’ve been avoiding that by telling the rest of the tale. Which Alpha Reader likes! So, I have that going for me.
And I’ve written another 40 pages or so since the last time I updated you on The Travelers. We’re now into the Summer of the Novel and it feels like we’re in the third act and heading toward a conclusion of some kind. Since I’m more of a pantser than a plotter, though, that conclusion is covered in mist. Kind of like John Teague is.
But that’s why I write. Both the conclusion and the character are in my head somewhere, and the easiest way I’ve found to get other things out of my head that seem stuck is to pick up a pen and write. Here’s hoping that works in these cases, too. The only way out is through.
“Come to the edge, he said. They said: We are afraid. Come to the edge, he said. They came. He pushed them and they flew.” – Guillaume Apollinaire
As I was getting my novella “To The Edges” (which actually had nothing to do with that Apollinaire quotation, but I just ran across it and it really fits, so now it does) ready to submit a few months ago, I decided that this winter was going to be…
The Winter of the Novel!
Because the damned thing has pretty much stalled, and I really would like to finish it before I die. So, dramatic fanfare and bold italics were called for. My plan: from the day I submitted “To The Edges” (which turned out to be Hallowe’en) until the spring equinox, it was going to be all 2082 all the time.
And so it has. I started out by rereading all 169K+ words and was pleased to discover that quite a bit of it doesn’t suck. Some of it, of course, does. Like, why did I give a very minor character almost a page of description completely derailing the scene he’s introduced in? He’s a big guy who sewed his brother’s eye shut. Nobody cares about his business practices, M. And no, I don’t know why he sewed his brother’s eye shut yet. Still figuring that one out.
But quite a lot of these words are very salvageable. There’s a story in 2082 that I still like a lot and want to share with folks once it’s done. What I’m seriously pondering is whether a major subplot even needs to be there, though. It’s interesting in its own right and has ramifications in all my world-building, but is it the story?
“When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story,” he said. “When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.” – Stephen King
That major subplot is a good story, too, I think, but is it this one?
So, that’s part of what’s been going through my mind as I’ve moved on to editing, rewriting, moving things around, crossing shit out. Seriously wondering about structure, pacing, all that. Oh, and what happens next.
Last night, though, while R was rubbing my shoulders (because he’s neat like that), I had a bit of a revelation. I realized that my big problem is that those two stories should each be their own book. When that thought popped into my head, a little weight lifted off my shoulders and I could feel things sliding more comfortably into place. Two stories, same world. One won’t necessarily be the sequel of the other, although it kinda sorta might be. Crossover business will definitely happen.
Does that mean it’s going to be…
**more dramatic fanfare**
The Winter of Two Novels?
No. One at a time, please. That was part of things feeling right: I don’t have to do it all at once. I might even finish one, now that I cut the sucker in half. Here’s hoping, anyway. Especially since I still don’t know how the one I’m going to be working on ends.
I know the ending of other (new working title: The Tribe & The City), but the one I want to finish first (now called: The Travelers), I’m still not sure. I was hoping by getting myself immersed in the book again, I could start to figure out that part. And things are starting to bubble, so I’m hopeful.
Yeah, this is a pants kind of operation. Although I like Felicia Day’s idea.
“When I get stuck writing, I just put in, ‘Suddenly a Nuclear Bomb hits the town and all the characters die. THE END’ and go eat chocolate.”
There will be chocolate. And probably explosions. One of my main characters loves to blow stuff up, so that can’t be helped. Will there be nukes? Could be. One of the darker endings I’ve come up with has that happening, kind of a last man standing sort of ironic thing, but R thinks that’s too gloomy. And if this world is going to hang around for another book, that could be problematic. We’ll see. Wish me luck!