Thursday, December 22, 2011

Concrete and Jello(TM)

I'm pretty prolific as a writer. When people ask me "How do you do it?" I usually answer, "I have to." That doesn't mean it's always easy. It's like a steady diet of concrete and Jello(tm).

When I got back from my week cruise, I had written 106 pages of Jezebel's sequel by hand, poolside. I'd meant to finish the last 6 chapters of volume 2 of Temple of the Traveler; however, I'd hit a snag over the geography of the final battle. I couldn't write more until I did some research on Alpine rivers and lakes. Still, those are the sorts of weeks you want. And I had the rest of December off!

After a few days of hand-drawing the detailed map for the last battle, I had to edit "Doors to Eternity" for a week--including three rewrites to chapter 8. Then I had to invent my own origami butterfly for the paperback version of Jezebel and buy three kinds of metallic gold paper from an hour's drive away. This week I'm finally back into the groove.
  • Monday: 10 double-space pages to finish the last chapter I did before leaving.
  • Tuesday: rewrite yesterday's chapter and add 2.5 pages on a battle that finished in another part of the world that makes this battle the crux.
  • Wednesday: rewrite yesterday's battle scene, add one page, and deduce that I sent my warship to the wrong place in chapter 3. Fix chapter 3 and every other ship reference in BOTH volumes. Name the flagship the Beauty.
  • Thursday: 6 pages of preparation for the final battle. Everything is going smoothly again, right? NO! At lunch time, my star seeress character (blasted primadonna) gets halfway to her assigned location to fulfill her destiny, and she decides to write a new tenet to her religion -- the whole woman's perogative thing. If it means losing her new boyfriend, screw destiny. She's going to break a few rules. So now, we've got a rogue MC rampaging through the countryside. She's carrying a key component to a ritual the whole book is about as well as the god-forged crown she's supposed to be handing to another main character tomorrow. What's she thinking? The kids will be home by 3:00 and I have to wrap presents!

My plot chart said I only had 4 chapters left; I might have been able to finish that by Christmas Day with the kids home. What the heck, we'll roll with it. Maybe this will work out, or at least she'll get this rebellion out of her system. But now this is going to exceed my target length, requiring more trimming. My point is--every day I chew on a mix of concrete and jello. When I present the finished product, the reader won't know which was which. It's myjob to present a seamless illusion. I've got till February till my line-editor gets the draft.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, you certainly are doing well. I'm having trouble keep my own writing going because everything else is sucking so much of my time. However, the sequel to Invisible Dawn is plodding along and Strange Circumstances is almost ready for the editor. I'm glad things are going well with you and hope you had a great holiday.