Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wednesday Writer's Report

Tada! Finished? No. But this is the last one you will see for awhile (or not, if I can conceive a solid story idea for Nanowrimo).

I have one or two chapters left. And I'm going to stop there. Although I'm a completionist, this is the resolution of the story. The hard parts are done, over. Now I need to tie on a bow. And the bow should be meaningful, as opposed to making the reader want to sling the package across the room.

I realized, about 20k words ago, that I will need to redefine the characters in "Tribe E" - so it follows that anything I write now for their ending will be meaningless and will need to be redone. Seems a waste of time to do it now, only to have it to do it all over again later.

It's actually rather telling. At this point in the story, their ultimate conclusion should be relatively predictable. No, I won't offer spoilers, but the fact that I'm staring at the screen and realizing that I don't have a fitting dialogue... that was telling. I can say more, but I think it would be spoiler-ish.

All the other characters have an ending sequence. The other characters need some polish and such. But these characters, no. They need help.

There will be a lot of editing, though. The book is too big for the story - the prose is decent, but not quite as lush as say, Jacqueline Carey, so that tells me there's a bit of babbling. Additionally, it's been suggested to me to introduce more POV's - and that's going to add words, not subtract. That means I'm going to have edit even more heavily to be able to fit in the additional "complexities".

Don't even get me started about the two "stories within the story" that aren't finished.

So! Parts of the story are going to be rewritten from different (new) POV's in order to reduce the word count and speed up the pace. Current arcs need to polish the characters, now that I figured out what I want them to do, from beginning to end.

This could take a while.

The upshot, however, is that I was pretty close at predicting my pace - good news for the future. This is by far my largest single writing project.

And no, I'm not querying yet.

Otherwise, while not quite the content heavy blog I promised for this month so far, there's still a couple weeks left. Cheers.


  1. Congratulations on reaching this point, Bill. :)

    It sounds like you're now at the point where you're going to be taking the 40,000 feet view of your story as a whole, then making what adjustments you see as necessary. But I would not worry too much in the comparison of your prose to Jacqueline Carey's or any other author's. I don't think that any single writer has a Shakespearean mastery of the language when he or she first starts writing. That to me always sounds like something that is "craft" - requiring the whetstones of time and practice to refine.

    Nanowrimo should be exciting. I finally hear back on the judging results of that one contest I entered next Monday. I know the chances are slim given the sheer number of entries the contest has received, but I'm still excited to see the results and read the winning entries.

  2. Thanks, Brian. And yes, you're absolutely right, about the "top view" of it. But before I do, I'm taking a few days to settle thoughts and watch some movies/series that I thought had strong arcs/beginnings.

    As far as prose, I have moments where the flow is pretty good. Usually not when I'm blogging (haha?). But I agree that it takes time to find that rhythm, and I don't want this book to be an attempt at massive prose. I'll be happy with readability and sparks.

    I'm on the fence with Nanowrimo, because I do want to spend more time revising/reading, but I suspect I'll decide soon enough.

    Do let us know how the contest turns out for you.

  3. Just thought I would share this article. I particularly like the bits of advice by Isaac Asimov and Gene Wolfe.

  4. Another couple of related articles that should give heart to any aspiring novelists.

  5. Thanks for the links, Brian. I'll be sure to take a look.


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