It’s Chelsea time!!

I almost took this month off. I have a ton of stuff on my plate.

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We’re celebrating our huge move (just a year ago!)

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The last time PA welcomed me!

And we’re getting ready for another one. Not quite a big, but we’re ready to find our forever home.

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Somewhere over there, on the left. No seriously, we’re trying to move to the town by *this* exact lake.

But that means the cleaning and packing are starting… again.

And it’s the middle of birthday season, when four out of five birthdays in our family happen in an eight week period.

I’m also job hunting and still working on my novel.

Not to mention the kids have spring break this week.

And having finished up “season two” of Chelsea last month, I kinda thought I could take a break from it this month.

But then I remembered Max. Max is one of my writing buddies, and he and his husband have been super important in terms of keeping me sane the last few years. Hex (the husband) got me righted on my novels. His criticism and support got me to write them again.

Max, however, *loves* Chelsea. At his last job, he didn’t a lot of time to read, but he did need to kill 10 or 15 minutes here and there. So short, 1000 word stories were perfect for killing time in between rounds (Max was the night guard). Make the rounds, check the monitors, read for a few minutes. Do it again.

Max proofread and critiqued a lot of Chelsea on that job. He helped me figure out where she was headed, and who she needed to be.

So skipping a month because I feel a little overwhelmed isn’t really an option. Max is waiting for the next story.

If you’ve been a little overwhelmed at a monthly story, afraid to get your feet wet as it were, well, this is the beginning of season three. A new direction for Chelsea and new adventures are coming.

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The hamster wheel

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I’m stuck once more.

I thought the fight scene was going to be my sticky patch. But I banged that right out. It sucks but it’s done. I was too excited to get back to writing. And then I realized that I could combine three chapters into one again, and I got super excited.

Unfortunately, I’m on week two and still only writing in my head. I can start the combo chapter, but I can’t seem to finish it. Nothing works.

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So round and round I go.

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And then last night, I had another bad bout of insomnia. Long time readers (all six of you) know what that means.

I need to get writing. Sleep will continue to allude me until I do.

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However this morning I found myself reading old stuff again, instead of working on the new stuff. Every time I tried to focus on the new stuff, I got to a particular scene, my mind went blank, and I started reading Denouement from Last Call.

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It seems I have a few sleepless nights ahead of me until I get this sorted out.

Sorry about last week.

I was in the process of writing a blog when a tree fell down the road, and I lost internet for 36 hours.

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However, there really wasn’t much to talk about. I have been plugging away at Red Witch. I plowed through three chapters including my (new and terrible) fight scene.

This week, I am once again stuck. I have a chapter that needs a new setting and an emotional overhaul. Figuring out those how to do that is a process. I’ve started the chapter twice now, and neither time felt right.

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I’ll keep plugging at it and hopefully, next week, I’ll have something positive to say.

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FREE STORY! COME GET YOUR FREE STORY!

It’s the first Monday of the month, and that means a new Chelsea Childling story.

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A human, non-magical, non-super powered, completely mundane person who hunts monsters? Are you in?

The stories come out the first Monday of the month at noon PST and are absolutely free. Sometimes, you might get an ad for my webcomic or my books, but you always get a free story.

Not sold yet? How about an excerpt:

Chelsea edged toward one ferret-like creature, trying not to alarm it. “Are hedge doctors really that bad?”

Harry swooped on the unsuspecting dronke. “Uncle Bart don’t think so, but he ain’t been home in years. He owes them damn hedge doctors in Pittsburgh so many favors that he can’t even leave the city.”

 

Seem like this might be your bag? You still have a few hours to sign up!

The abyss is staring back

So I’ve been not so much rewriting as rearranging Red Witch. No new scenes, just a new timeline for scenes. Occasionally, I switch POV or squash a few together, or extend something, but nothing new. Until today.

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I knew this was coming. After all, the point of this rearrangement is that I needed more action sequences. The problem is that now the ephemeral ideas of “Oh I could do something like…” have to become actual words on the page.

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This is where novellas call me again. I love epics. And I want to write one. But the balancing act is much harder for 100,000 words. This takes work, not the typing, but the braining. I have to choreograph fight scenes. My few lessons in stage fighting does not cover battlefield tactics for specialized fighters.  This is work.

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And once I get the action down, it’s not finished. No, that process is just begun. The scene I rough out over the next few days–

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Fine… WEEKS.

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So many hours of Sims are coming… so much procrastination….

ANYWAY.

 

Those rough fight scenes are just the beginning. They will have to be edited and refined. They will likely be way too long or too short. It’s not unusual for authors of epics to take years to write a single draft.

And there’s that abyss again. The years of work on something that I have no intention of publishing until I finish the series. Six books, one finished, one in pieces, one started, one drafted, two theoretical concepts. Each a minimum of 100,000 words. Each focused on a different genre. All intricate pieces of a puzzle. All taking a minimum of three years to write, in total, if the first one is any indication.

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Some days I do wonder if it’s worth it.

Then I find myself plotting dialogue between Brenda and Edie. Or I see Marley tuning his guitar… and I open scrivener and stare back.

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So many changes

I’ve spent the last week reworking Red Witch. I can’t call it a rewrite because I’m not really changing the plot.

I am speeding up the action. Combining chapters and rearranging them. Which occasionally mean switching which character has the POV, and cutting/adding to a scene.

The good news is that I’ve been working away. The bad news is that I keep losing track of my laptop’s cord…

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I’m about a quarter of the way through this reorganization, and I have no idea how long it’ll take to finish. I tend to work about 2-4 hours and then get stuck.  Then I spend 12-18 hours thinking my way through the problem. Once unstuck, it’s another 2-4 hours of work.

Repeat with blaring music until insane.

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We’ll see how I look by this time next week.

Finally, something clicked

I’ve been really stuck for awhile.

My novels really play with the mash up of genres. The mixtures of fantasy, noir, horror, and adventure that makes up “Urban Fantasy” can be fluid. And Red Witch was really supposed to lean heavily into “horror”.

 

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Guess which one of my artistic influences I want to channel for this book?

The first draft had the horror, but lacked the character-focus I prefer.

The second draft got the characters running things again, but now te horror aspect is all but gone.

So two months of brainstorming, and I think I see the way to bring the horror back.

This never-ending seesaw will balance eventually. Character-driven horror isn’t a new or unique concept. I just have to find the balance.

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But having a plan is the first part. And I plan I have.

Finally.

 

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…my twitter followers feel me.

 

 

Today, though, I have new Chelsea.

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Chelsea and Amber are finally going to have that talk that’s been brewing for awhile. Let’s hope they both survive it.

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