Wednesday, February 20, 2013

One Small Part.

There's always one more thing.

I just finished adding a bit to a scene in Skyborne, something I realized a week or two ago needed to be there.  (Why did it take so long?  Getting my head back together and on writing after the last book has been difficult.  Hence why I haven't written here for almost three weeks.)  I know that, at this stage, I should be thinking more about taking words out than adding them, as the word count's still a bit high.  But I knew this was necessary.

The added part is a small thing, a quiet realization that sets up the book's entire romance subplot.  And I think it's a little sad, because wanting to stay with someone and knowing your path will tear you away from them is never a good feeling.  Yet it's exactly what the story needed right then, and that's what matters most.

I've struggled with the romance aspects of Skyborne before, blogged about it here at least once.  But with this small addition, I think I've finally got that whole thing the way it needs to be.  Which pretty much means the whole book is finally the way it needs to be.

What I can't help now is thinking of that old phrase, "When the student is ready, the master will appear," and wondering if it applies to literary agents.  ^_^

I'll have an entry with more substance sometime soon; I have some thoughts to get down about story and/vs. world building after the last two books I've read.  But for now, something much more important: sleep.

Friday, February 1, 2013


So, last night, I finished the book I'd been working on.  Even at the end, I was filled with ambivalence.  I lost my passion for this thing somewhere along the way, only got it back at a few brief times, and was mostly cranking through it to get it done so I could move on to something else.  I wasn't sure if I'd ever go back and see it if was worth polishing.  And then, earlier today, something strange happened: I was telling a co-worker that I'd finished it, and she said she wanted to read it.

Just that.  Just knowing someone actually wants to read this thing changed how I feel about it.  I went from being pretty damn sure it wasn't worth going back to, sure I was going to leave behind writing in the real world because everything I've written there has gone poorly, to going through ideas in my head of how to fix the stupid thing.  Just because someone said they wanted to read it.

Granted, this co-worker mostly wants to read it because I've told her quite a bit about the character who can exist as three of herself and goes around with six arms, but still.

Right now, it's really hard for me to say what will or won't happen with this book.  I've learned that I can't speed through the writing process.  I averaged 3200 words a night, and that made the whole thing come out in an unfortunate rush.  Why I was writing so fast, I don't know; maybe just because I could.  Of the past five books I've written, Skyborne is the only one I wrote at a more sedate pace and it's the only one I've stuck with.  Trying to go that fast, there's no time to pause and reflect, no time to really focus on what's important.  There's only moving to the next line, the next paragraph, the next scene.  And I can't write like that anymore.  I wish it hadn't taken me this long to understand that, but at least now I know for sure.

The changes I'd like to make will mean rewriting a great deal of the book, if not the whole thing.  There's a character to remove, another character's power to change, a third character to have appear much earlier, a fourth character's personality to alter, my country's five-hundredth anniversary to plan, my wife to murder, and Guilder to blame for it, and so on.  I don't yet know if I want to do this, or if it would be better to just let the story settle and leave it behind.  I'll find out in six to eight weeks, when I look at it again.

But I'd forgotten how much it mattered, how good it felt, just to have someone who wants to read the story.  Not that I don't have friends who read my stuff, it's just different when someone asks to read it instead of the other way around.  ^_^  And it has me thinking:

Someday, if all goes well, I'll make it as a writer.  I'll have people eagerly looking forward to my next book.  And that, more than anything, will make it easier to keep going.  Not money, not fame, not recognition.  Just people who want to read what I write.  After years of writing things that hardly anyone ever reads, it's hard to ask for more.