So… that was a looooooong bloggy break. Um… yeah.
What’s been happening in the first half of this year has been a lot of re-writing on my novellas, the next edit on Indestructible and a thorough proofing of the post apoc romance, ahead of it going out to beta readers. So, you know, a bit! Just not blogging, apparently.
Of course the usual question after such a lot of editing and re-writing is: Are we sick of it yet? Itching to write something new maybe?
Writing daemon and I have, it must be said, struggled with the novellas. Apparently re-writing them has been about as much fun as kicking your little toe into a chair leg! Yep. But the other editing has been fine. (What is it with these novellas, huh?)
Does daemon want to write something new? Yes, absolutely. He has, in typical daemon fashion, been “writing” things in my head and avoiding the permanent record part of the equation all together. Always helpful! There are rumblings though that might be a new book. Probably in the same world as the one from last October.
I say “world” but that book seems to be set in a version of Scotland. Possibly on another planet. That’s apparently a location choice we’re reluctant to make yet. Though, if there’s going to be a sequel/prequel/same world project, it might be nice if daemon would decide…
The weird thing about this year, so far, is that it feels about three times more productive than last year. Except I don’t think 2020 was nearly as unproductive as it seemed. My brain might just be trying to blame the pandemic for stuff! Seems fair.
So not a lot of editing has been happening as the year has transitioned. Why? Well, apparently the writing daemon was hungry for narrative! When this happens we watch TV and movies and that’s mostly what’s been happening in recent weeks.
Have I watched anything awesome? Can’t say that I have, though I stumbled on a Canadian crime show called “Intelligence” from some years ago and enjoyed that. Otherwise it’s all been a bit dull. However the writing daemon hasn’t minded one bit. He’s just been enjoying everyone else’s writing and characters.
Thankfully this hasn’t (so far) led to any new novels. That does happen sometimes when we glutton on shows, but the novella thinking has been going on in the background as I gear up for an unexpected (was it really? hmm) rewrite.
Things have been quiet on the writing front for a few months, with me just picking at my novella 2 edits and enjoying many non-writing activities. Like I said in my last post, blogging has been a struggle this year, but I feel like things are getting back on track. Probably because it’s almost xmas and that means time off work after what feels (to everyone I think) like a very, very loooooooong year.
On the novella front, N2 is looking like an easier edit than N1 turned out to be (and I’m still refusing to acknowledge N3 even though it’s now pretty good in the current draft). My niggling length issue which I may or may not have mentioned here – novellas with a Goldilocks problem – seems to be working out fine which is a big relief. Now I’m even wondering if I was stressing about that too much… We’ll see.
Of course, following on from the bonanza of 2019 this year was always going to feel unproductive to an extent. Though “unproductive” is a bit harsh. I’ve edited Indestructible twice through, plus the novellas, so that’s about 280K worth of editing, and wrote the scratch draft of a whole new novel. Not bad for a weird, disrupted year.
Now I just have to convince daemon that he should finish editing the novellas before we start anything new. Yeah, because he ever listens to me!
After being a sneaky, sleepy little writing daemon for a few weeks, it would seem daemon is back. This is a good thing because we have A LOT of editing sitting waiting to be done. Starting with some troublesome novellas…
Novella one – for the record – insists on being boring. Not sure why, but it does. So I’ve gotten out the pruning shears and we are now ruthlessly clipping out all extraneous sentences. Which I suspect I’ll regret later, when I realise I’ve removed a bunch of foreshadowing etc. Something had to be done though… the BORING was just too much.
In good editing news, I inspired daemon to get back into editing the novellas by making him read Indestructible and wince at how bad our last round of edits were there! Ahem. Methinks we were both a little fatigued by February. 2019 was a bit of big year, afterall. So we’ll be editing that this weekend, too.
I’m enjoying being back on the editing trail though. Even when you have an oh god why can’t I write moment/s, there something satisfying about knowing all the work you’ve put in already is translating, incrementally, into a solid piece of fiction. Which someday, people may even read!! *chuckles*
Well, I know someone will be reading Indestructible soon, because I asked them to. And we’ve done a draft swap so I’ll get to help them out to!
Have I mentioned that the novellas have a “Goldilocks problem”? One is too long… you get my drift I’m sure. The thing is, I’m not even sure it matters if they’re different lengths (within reason). It may simply be offending my love of symmetry…
After struggling with the 3rd novella for a bit, it was a relief to finally finish. Yes, the novella series is now, officially all in working 1st draft state! Woot!
Okay, there may have been some happy dancing – though I still find my eyes narrowing whenever I speak of that 3rd book – and then I moved on to Indestructible. With glee.
Why I’m so in love with the gangster/noir is a mystery, but it was easy to write and, so far, the editing has gone pretty smoothly. Yes, there were six attempts at getting the final chapter re-written to my satisfaction…ahem… but it’s all good.
The greatest challenge from an editing perspective is getting a consistent tone in the language. It’s hard to give the flavour of Chandler or Hammett, without mimicking them! Also, I don’t want my lovely sci fi world to sound like 1930s America. That’s not really the point. So, that is taking a little time and a little work, but I think it’ll get there.
Language is a nice problem to have, compared to fixing structural snafus and recalcitrant characters (wait, I feel my eyes narrowing again!), but I’m too early in the edit to know exactly what the pain threshold will be. My current WIP is definitely a work in progress!
After a well flowing sequence of projects last year I have been stumped. For those of you who know the history, N3 of my novella series has always been troublesome. It still is.
Some drafts are just hard. This is one of the mysteries of writing novels and novellas, and one that still puzzles me.
I think – though I’ve said this before – I’ve fixed the problems now, but it’ll be another few days before I find out. There may be a shortage of body-parts to cross in hope!
It’s been at the back of my mind since I started my interlinked novellas that at some point I was going to have to stop and make sure the world was consistent across them. That time has come.
I could have done a spreadsheet. That’s worked in the past. But this time there were a lot of things to track and a lot of information to include for each thing in each novella. Now that kind of thing needs doing where you can see it all, in my opinion, and that means a wall!
A small supply trip gathered index cards and a packet of coloured pens and I set to re-reading the drafts and then filling out a bunch of cards. It was fun, actually. I have always had a thing for colour coding things and, strangely, index cards.
All of them are now in appropriate columns on a wall in my house where I can see them.
The funny thing is how obvious gaps become when you do this sort of activity. Blank index cards indicate things that don’t exist in a given novella. Cards with only a line of text indicate maybe there’s some description missing. Very useful.
Not, possibly, the most environmentally friendly way to tackle it, but I’m working on ways to reuse/recycle them before they got to the recycling bin.
You know how I’ve been having a big, productive year? Well, let me add to that list!
Yes, I have managed to complete a draft of the second novella (aka “N2”) of my three novella series. It’s only a little bub at 20K but I’ve been so excited to finally get it re-written and complete.
As it’s pretty close to the end of the year now (whoosh goes another one!) I doubt I’ll finish anything else off, but I am going to try to wrestle N3 into shape next. Mind you, the ol’daemon is flitting about excitedly looking for new novel ideas. He seems to think that we’re ready for another new project…
We shall see.
Ok I’m often excited about stuff, but this is a particular excitement… project excitement. That’s been a bit lacking since I finished PAR and moved to my troublesome novella. Not helped by sore shoulders, dragon training and other distractions, but mostly my draft has been refusing to come together.
However, daemon must have been flitting around thinking about it because today I had AN IDEA. It means re-writing a good chunk of the draft, but that’s alright because I can feel that it’s a GOOD IDEA! You know when you just know?
And that idea has birthed other ideas too so now I’m thoroughly excited about getting the draft into shape. It’s not there yet and I suspect these three novellas have plenty more trouble to bring, but I’m excited about this project in general; I think people will get a kick out of reading them.
I’ve been doing something a bit different this past week or so; working on all three of the novellas of my series at the one time.
Now, those of you who know me know that I often work on multiple projects at once, but not usually related ones. In this case I’m typing up the long-handed words of N3 and doing editing notes on N1 and N2.
I think because all three are in “scratch draft” phase – where there’s a lot still to be nailed down in terms of the worldbuilding and how things relate – it’s actually not as confusing working between them as I expected. In some ways it’s making getting them to a fully fleshed out draft a bit easier, because I can see the inconsistencies between the three novellas as I dip in and out of them.
It’s making me wonder if I will continue to work like this throughout. Though, I can see it might start to make things harder once each novella has its own character. I’m excited to see!