What? It’s *still* that same chapter?!

Okay, I’m being just a touch hyperbolic. Yes, I am working on that same chapter, two weeks on. Like it’s been so slow that the beta-read I was using as my treat for finishing the chapter was getting to the point of embarrassingly late. I had to give up on finishing the chapter and just read the manuscript for my friend.

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And truthfully, I have been plugging away. Not as quickly as I would like, but a steady outpouring of words. A few paragraphs a day, every day.

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And I really can’t be upset about it. I think I hit on the final incarnation of this book. Not the final *draft* mind you, but the beginnings of the final drafts. I’m not expecting any major structural shake-ups, so I should be expanding on chapters, and starting to add the details.

Or that’s my current excuse, anyway.

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Still, I’m sleeping, so I must be writing enough… right?

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Still on that chapter

And I have been writing.

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It’s just that this is a fight scene, and one I am rewriting from a new character’s POV. So I’m not just fixing up the fight, but rewriting big chunks of it because Barb wouldn’t know what a trained warrior would. It’s exhausting, mentally.

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It’s one thing to switch POV between characters with a similar background, but it’s a lot more work to use a novice in any scene. While I appreciate the opportunity for natural exposition and world building, my brain hurts after a few paragraphs because I have to translate actions into an alien mentality.

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I’m reading a few paragraphs and then taking a few hours to process how Barb would interpret those actions. Then I have to edit and rewrite and find the right transition.

Or decide that Barb wouldn’t have the faintest clue what’s going on, and then rewrite around that revelation.

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And it’s going well, more or less. I’m hoping it will speed up once the action starts in earnest. Most of the scene setting stuff just needs pronoun changes, and Barb is only starting to come into her own, so she can observe actions; she doesn’t have to be a part of them. Which means I have to change a few lines and add her reactions. Hopefully. As long as I don’t change my mind, again.

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So, I’m moving right along, if more slowly than I thought. But it’s the story that’s being slow, not me. I’m writing. Which is a good thing. I like being writing. I am braining the words so hard. So hard the braining. Such words.

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Sorry, I have to get back to my book.

 

The wheels are turning, again, and there are miles still to go

It’s most daunting part of writing an epic. The road ahead of me.

 

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I may or may not be showing off some pics my epic cross country move last year.

I spent two weeks contemplating a huge change to the narrative and consequently not sleeping. Something that hasn’t been a part of my life for some time now. My friends and family are shocked. Kate gets 6-8 hours of sleep, on the regular,  and I like it.

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But this past month really hammered something home. I’m going to do this, no matter how long it takes. If it means a few sleepless nights here and there… I’ll take them, and I’ll keep rolling down the road.

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And much like driving across the prairie, I can the epicness in front of me, but I’m acutely aware of how far away it is.

 

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Montana, man, Montana

And some days that is overwhelming. Today though, as I sip coffee and look at the five chapters I got squared away this weekend, I can take some pride in the road traveled so far. This leg isn’t even close to done, but I’m back on the road.

In the battle cry of my brethen, I proclaim I #amwriting.

 

 

 

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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I have no idea what this blog post will be about

Yes,  I am writing, and reading for my betas, and being a full-time mom. So I should have lots to talk about right?

Well…

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I am writing, but I’m drafting and editing doorstoppers.  Long, detailed, slow paced novels full of twists and turns and characters that most people haven’t read, and which I haven’t published. So like.. I can post the funny thing that I wrote Brenda saying… but nobody cares.

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And I can’t spoil anything about my betas books, because well, not my books. Although I can plug their other work.

Please
Read 
My friends

But as for me… I’m just doing my thing. Turning coffee and ADHD into words. It’s just not very exciting to talk about.

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Reawakening

It happened slowly, and then all at once.

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One day I was lamenting relearning to slow my prose, and the next I had a list of fifteen names for background characters that I knew I would maybe use two of during the actual writing.

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It sounds ridiculous, but everybody who writes an epic has those lists. And because these are background characters that I use on the regular, they were all given a few characteristics and a sentence or two of backstory.

And when I finished this list, I  immediately got online and announced it to my epic fantasy writing group.

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And I got cheered.

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The beacons have been lit, The Haven has called for aid, and my fellow writers have answered.

 

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If I had the slightest commitment to this bit, I would have changed Rohirrim to Betas.

Now I just have to finish the damn thing. Book One: The Haven is done. Book Two: The Red Witch… is still in the white room stage, the other four? We’ll get to it. I don’t have a publishing date, just the will to get this written.

And I finally feel like a writer of epics again.

 

 

 

 

 

What’s this? Writing?

So two nights ago, something in my brain clicked. And words for Book Three, they poured out.

I rewrote all of chapter 3, deleted chapter 4, and tweaked a few things. And it was glorious.

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But now, I’m thinking about rewriting that first chapter again, and don’t I need to start foreshadowing XYZ again?

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Rewriting the opening is a common trap.You get so damned caught up in making the beginning ‘perfect’ that you never finish the book.

But, on the other hand…

 

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I acknowledge my waffling!

This is a long, complicated book that pays off some storylines and sets up the end game. Taking a little time to smooth out the first draft isn’t a bad thing. I will probably change my mind later, but having coherent storylines now might save me a lot of work later. Even if it just means not having redo these chapters before I let the betas read.

But, there’s no first draft ever that doesn’t need to be smoothed over before you let a beta read it…

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So, this is my last mulligan. Tonight, I’ll redo the first three chapters again, but there is a path forward.

And I’m still just grateful for the words.