My fears came true it seems.
I’m going to be blowing the first deadline I made for myself so far and that really has me frustrated. For those not in the know, I started writing this book when I took up a 40 day social media and gaming fast from Ash Wednesday to Easter. In that time, I put out about 350 pages. It was a brilliant time. Of course, I fully realize that it was compensating for me consuming media rather than producing it. But it was worth it on many levels. Once off the fast, my productivity plummeted dramatically. It is really amazing how much of your time disappears into the black hole of social media or gaming.
My second deadline was to finish my second book of the series, which I did 4 days before Memorial Day I think it was. What I learned in that very difficult next 40 days was how hard it can be to write if you do not focus 100% of your energy and cut off passive or semi passive consumption of art.
Well… for me it is.
But since then, I started studying about how to edit, and the needs a manuscript has before I send it to an editor and make a complete ass of myself. The realization dawned that I had written a draft for me (As well I should I learned), but not for the public. I have a great concept, great hook, and middle build for genre fiction…
…. but no finale.
With that discovery driven home, the second edit began fighting me. When I finally settled on converting the whole book from 1st to 3rd person that helped, but it lost a lot of intimacy present in the first draft, IMHO. I’m biased, so what do I know? What that meant is I had to engineer a new finale, and shift around a half dozen chapters, plus… PLUS bump up my major supporting character to co-focus. Reimar, the boy you meet in the sample chapter is not the only hero… well he is, but… bah! You’ll see. In fact, although he is the focus of the novel, I now had to focus on the other strong voice, Brother Finn, who you will all meet soon enough. I needed to build his back story more, fill in how he got to the second chapter, and sprinkle in activity throughout, in his voice, to create a cohesive whole.
That’s not easy as it may seem. Then two more challenges reared their ugly heads and nommed my brain. My villain/foe/obstacle was weak on some level. I have two levels of them… but they are not saying to me “boss fight” at any point to create the final conflict the book needed. Oh they’re good villains and scenes. In fact the initial villain is probably getting even more and more interesting as I write in Brother Finn’s chapters.
That means I had to re-examine my existential societal threat to the book, the Skaerslinger. I realized I did not have enough depth to them to write authoritatively about them and give them both the dignity a good danger/enemy/challenge deserves. Never sell a villain short or treat them shallow. Your heroes depend on the danger being credible. Plus, I had only featured them so far in the very beginning, they have to come back for more! As Chekov said, “If you show a gun in the first act, it must be fired by the last act.” Or something close to that. So this has trapped me as well. How do you write a fitting denouement of proper depth, breadth and power without something colossal to overcome. Cheesy 3 act development? Sure. Why not?
And the last hurdle, beyond creative intimidation? Friggen virus computer crash hire someone to fix it and save my data level disaster.
Yeah… queue the freakout.
Thankfully the computer techs I hired got my system back, saved all my data (except my bookmarks for all my writing resources which I’m starting to rebuild) and I could start again with little lost.
So… long story short, this adventure to try and get this book done, and published took a delay. Therefore, Toulouse… the story shall not be ready to show the financier tomorrow!
In the end, this is all in a way of an apology to those expecting to hear from me with a completed second draft by the 9th or so. Seriously though, I wanted it done, but my schedule, thanks to my waffling, indecisiveness, panic, and computer crashes has been making me struggle mightily. But, it IS coming! Fret not, and I will need opinions. My goal is still to publish this year, but it’s looking more towards Christmas than anything else.
Special addendum: I’m running low on book stuff relevant to share with you, plus there seems to be rather low interest in my creative stuff that I post as compared to my biographical posts. So comment below what kinds of things are you interested in reading about. Come on now, don’t be shy. Give me hints.