And before you wonder if I’ve hit a wall on the book — no, I actually know exactly what comes next, but I’m going over the printed chapters and — trust me on this — it will be richer, not to mention more coherent if I actually look it over today.
This is part of my process, and I find it funny to see it played off like this in a book that is being written as I’ve never written a book before. Never? you say. Never. I’ve taken years to write a book, but that’s usually a week one year, a week the next, due to issues of time/place/pregnancy/poverty, etc. I’ve never, in my working life, written a chapter a week. In a way it’s fascinating to me how it’s working out.
Part of it increases my natural issues. The reason I tend to write novels in a heated rush is not that I’m either not interested enough to take longer nor because I’m a super genius. It’s because I have about a two week attention span — two weeks in which I can keep the story with all its nuances in my head. (Yes, I can write outlines, but not with ALL the nuances. Also, half the time the d*mn story hides in my subconscious and writing it is a series of “opening doors” each one revealing a bit more.
Even in two weeks to a month that it normally takes me to write a novel, the d*mn thing changes shapes on me. I must be incredibly stupid, because I start out thinking I know what the story is about, but it takes being 2/3 in to see the theme behind the theme (for all stories — short stories, novels, series sometimes.)
Witchfinder is suffering from straying into the weeds a few times. Not a big deal, nothing that can’t be cut and fixed, but at the same time I feel like the meaning of the novel should already be plain. It usually doesn’t take this long for me to know for instance “why the title.” (I think honestly the title is setup for the series, but we’ll see.)
What I do when I feel this way is go back, read and mark up, then finish. This usually happens one and a half weeks in, but this needs it all the more for being slower.
Meanwhile, in the way of such things, after struggling for a week with Noah’s Boy, (I was offered a chance to go away for a week and isolate myself to write at very little cost for myself — and this from the writer who has been known to fly across the country and camp in a friend’s living room for the purpose.) I just figured out why it felt so out of kilter. See, I’ve now finished the setup for the series, and the true meaning has unfolded. I was trying to write this to outline, written four years ago, which made this book the last one of the setup — but instead it needs to be the first one of the unfolding. Well… It’s work for the plane today — in a couple of hours, actually.
Also I’ve figured out how to rewrite an OLD (rejected — for various reasons) fantasy work and file all the serial numbers that weren’t mine, so I can release it indie sometime in the next month. That was part of what I wanted to achieve this week and it’s done. (The figuring out is done, not yet the rewrite, of course.)
Now that the kids are in school and seem to be falling into their routine, if I can JUST avoid getting sick, I should be able to start feeding the fans again. Which would be good as, with two kids in college, we’re what’s known as “dangerous levels of broke.”
Anyway, I’ll be back at the (command) desk in the normal Hoyt Writership this evening, and might even post a chapter then — or it might be tomorrow afternoon.
The one thing I have done this week is sleep A LOT. And I mean industrial levels of sleeping. Since I’m normally an insomniac and a broken-sleeper this is not exactly bad. And even though it didn’t result in as much USABLE wordage as I expected, it seem in fact to have broken through the MENTAL barrier behind which the words were hiding. Part of it is that like my commenter Beth, who says she needs to read but the novels won’t let her, I too tend to come to a point where I block because I haven’t been reading any fiction, but feel guilty about reading fiction because then I’m not writing. This time away gave me the chance to read some, if not a lot, and might have broken that particular logjam. I REALLY should take a day a week to loll around and read. The problem of course is that my pen names don’t have their own set of fingers and while I’m reading deadlines are passing.
Meanwhile, those of you interested in the field and epublishing and what the changes mean to us pixel-stained wretches, go read Kris Rusch. For the record when reading that keep in mind that in contrast to the moaning and gasping of the big, big names, I’m set — this year — to match and perhaps surpass my highest net gross yet. (Of course — waves hand — between college fees and the hole we’re still filling for the years of virtually no income, that gross is gross indeed. Positively disgusting, in fact. However, if payments for stuff not signed but hand-shaken on so far come through I’ll be making around 40k, which is not something to sneeze at or wouldn’t be if it weren’t for aforementioned hole. The last time I came close to that was 35k — I THINK — 7 years ago. Normally I hover between 20 and 30k but for the last two years have made 5 and 8k [hence the hole and the reason I will have a fundraiser, because we have to fix the house and sell it and move somewhere smaller and cheaper. Because we can’t count on staying at this level. But heck, I’m going to try.)