I had things I wanted to write about today. Instead, I finished my fourth draft. It’s continuing to improve.
It’s a personal story, as the subtitle Sins of the Father implies. I‘ve enjoyed that. It’s somewhat different for a fantasy novel. The armies marching to war are more peripheral than central. It’s a story about a man and his father. And their fathers.
My next novel, I want to write something more epic. World shattering. I don’t know if I’ll shatter the world of the Five Nations or another one, but whichever world grabs my eye next should tremble. It will not fare well. The very foundations will shake.
Some days I have to struggle to come up with a topic to write about her. Other days, a topic hits me in the face. Today was one of the latter.
I highly overused pronouns in my novel. I think it’s only becoming apparent to me because the novel is only beginning to become genuinely readable. As it approaches readability like light approaches the center of a black hole (perhaps never to actually reach), I notice increasingly small details and problems. Today, I spent most of my reading time adding in proper nouns. Because maybe, just maybe, the reader would like to have some idea who is speaking other than ‘she’ or ‘he’. Bah. I’m so horrible at this.
Other than the aforementioned pronoun problem, things are looking pretty decent. I think the voice is smoother, and my foreshadowing is less jarring, which is nice. I read a third of the novel so far today, which means it’s reading faster or I’ve just about got it memorized. Perhaps a bit of both. It does pull me along, though. I had to fight to get through it when I worked on Draft 2. That was many moons ago. My narrator is a different person these days.
This is a story on blogkindle.com about an author who sent out review copies of her self-published book when they weren’t quite ready. A reviewer nailed her for it. She, apparently, considered cussing like a poorly spelling sailor an appropriate escalation. I want to take this as an abject lesson- there will be bad reviews of my books. I will not take it personally. People are entitled to their opinions. Even when they are being dumb-headed.
Today, I put the finishing touches on the third draft of Wolf: Sins of the Father. It is better than it was.
In this process, I’ve discovered that odd drafts are ‘my’ drafts, and even drafts are drafts to be shared. I still have a load of work to do. Draft 4 will be a revision draft, and should take about a week to complete. Draft 4, like draft 2 before it, is about reading through, finding typos, making sure scenes blend nicely, and overall refining things a bit. I may add some words, but I expect to subtract a great many as well.
I am nearing what I can do on my own, and I fear a decision point approaches. Do I try to get this published, or do I self-publish? I vacillate eternally.
Some days writing is lovely and the words flow like milk and honey. And some days it feels like living in a desert for forty years.
Today I am in the desert.
It doesn’t help that I’ve finally realized I cannot take my current workflow situation anymore, so I’m setting up my novel in a new Word document and copy-and-pasting the chapters and headings into the new ‘manuscript’ template. This sets up my chapters and sections as easily navigable tabs in Word. Once its done, I should be able to fly around my document. For now, it’s a chore.
I will remember to establish a template early in my next novel to save myself this work.
Also, it is amazing what taking a couple of days away from writing does to my momentum. I grind to a halt and have to force words from my brain. Obviously, I need to stop taking such time. Ever.
Today I wrote 1,500 words that should never see the light of day. I sat down and fleshed out the international relations of the Five countries in my novel’s world. I figured out some culture, history, resources, climate, political structure, and views of their sibling nations.
It’s pretty dry stuff, but it maybe should have been done from the start. I’m not sure. Maybe right now is the perfect time to do it. Now, instead of focusing on the background information as I write, I can go back and layer it in. I can talk more about Ithian shepherds versus Sytian pirates. If I had done this from the start, my would would now be winnowing down the amount of information I had put in the novel. Now, my job is layering it in. We’ll see how it goes. I’m doing such a large amount of revision, I don’t mind having to add in so geopolitical facts. I think it will help ground the novel in the context of a larger world. I just need to shy away from a Tolkein-esque complete history of a given land with accompanying completely invented language.
Maybe after this revision, I’ll have a better idea of whether this work is best at the beginning or here in the middle somewhere.
I spent some time this morning pondering the history of my world for my novel Wolf: Sins of the Father. I figured I would work on a map to help me flesh it out. This is super rough, and more representational than actual. Still I thought it might be interesting to post.
Again, it’s super basic. It also demonstrates why I’m writing and not drawing. I changed a country’s name today. I’m sure it’s residents will adapt over time. I also delete four whole countries. Mostly because there was no need for them. I have my hands full with three or four. Five works to give me some room to grow. A full Nine is a bit much for now. Besides, if I ever want to add more there are the warnings the people of Magdaran try to give about Things East.
So, I finished the second draft of my novel, finally. I have commenced with the ‘writing with the door open’ segment of my work. Scary. My wife and some friends have the novel in hand and are reading it now. I’m a nervous wreck waiting for reviews. I thrum with nervous energy while a vast emptiness churns in my gut.
It was a neat experience to print it out and really look at it as a finished whole. I liked that part, but it was even better when I used Mobipocket Creator to make the file an e-book. I emailed it to the Kindles in my house. It’s a book. A tiny, unevenly paced, typo bearing, novicely written book. It’s right there on my device is such austere company as the Dark Tower series and the Long Price Quartet. I apologize to those fellows for showing up at their party uninvited. There’s a long way to go, and I don’t know this book will ever see publishing. Still, to see it one a Kindle is pretty nifty.
The experience has been a grueling one, and one that has wiped me out. But I’m already on to the next one. I have a few different books I want to write know. They each vie for attention and want to be picked next. Just when I think I’ve settled on one, the others raise their hands and make the universal grunting sound of kids who haven’t yet learned to fear being called on in class. I’m going to start Monday, though. Whichever one I pick. I think it’ll likely be the newest book of the group. It’s the freshest, and my mind turns to it the most. I’ve gathered a few lines and random thoughts for it. I’ve done some very rudimentary research around some of the topics. Oh, and I have some names. Hallelujah.