So, now that I’ve finished the subseries on the Hero’s Journey, I’m going to take a break from the Back to Basics series for a while. Possibly the entire month of April. I kind of burned myself out. Besides, there’s no need for me to finish the Back to Basics series as soon as absolutely possible. I’d drive myself crazy trying to set a date to finish it. There is so much material, and a lot of it, I have to research. Hence the burning out. So, until May, I’ll be blogging about various things, and yes, there may be some nuggets of writing wisdom thrown somewhere in there, but I’m pretty sure it’ll be entirely accidental.
As many of you know, I’ve been having trouble with writing The Chroniker Legacy lately. Last week and the earlier part of this week were the worst. March in itself was pretty awful. I averaged about 1000 words a day last month, writing less than 16,000 words. I was hoping to knock out about twice that. Last week, I averaged less than 500 words a day. Granted, I was sick one of those days, but still. Not impressive. And between Monday and Wednesday—didn’t write Tuesday—I wrote a whopping total of… drumroll… two words. TWO WORDS. In all actuality, I wrote 465 on Monday, and then deleted 463 on Wednesday. Yep. Super progress.
Wednesday night, I realized I couldn’t be having that bad of a writing block for no reason. So I thought… and thought and thought and thought, and I realized that something had to be wrong with my plot. I had the same problem while writing The Clockwork Giant—the ending didn’t make sense. My plot wasn’t necessarily bad, but I had yet to iron out all the details. So, I spent most of Wednesday evening discussing the plot with my husband, who has read nearly everything I’ve written so far. If anyone could help me, he could. We spent about three hours making sense of the plot. I even took notes so I wouldn’t forget any of it.
Now, my husband doesn’t think he was much help. He thinks that because he’s a programmer, he has no business helping me with my writing. But he’s wrong. Without him, I’d still be stuck with those measly two words this week. Because he helped, I was able to fix the last two chapters I wrote over the course of the last few weeks and write an additional 1500 words. Boom. He gave me my writing mojo back. Or he found it. Or helped me find it. Or something. Whatever.
The point is, if you’re going to be a writer, you need someone like my husband. You need someone who knows the story nearly as well as you do, someone you can talk with to iron out plot details, someone who will be honest and who will try their absolute best to help you. And they need to be someone you can talk to face to face. There’s nothing like talking about a story over dinner, bouncing ideas back and forth until you figure things out. And like my husband, this person doesn’t have to be a writer. They can be anyone who likes a good story. Avid readers are best.
So, I’m making progress on The Chroniker Legacy again, thanks to a brainstorming session with my husband. But even with the plot details figured out, I’m afraid that my first draft isn’t going to be as long as I originally hoped. I had planned for about 80,000 words, but I’m sitting at 41,000 now, and I’m already three-quarters of the way through my plot outline. Eep! One of my biggest issues at the moment is that I have two completely separate plots that are fighting for attention, but I haven't figured out how to weave them together. I have a feeling I’m going to need to dredge up another subplot to weave into the story in the second draft, and I already know of a few scenes I need to add. But I won’t add unnecessary material. Fluff is the worst. I’d rather have a shorter, more to the point novel over a novel that drags. Who knows, though? These last several scenes might require a lot of words. And I may think of new scenes while I’m writing. Won’t know until I get there.
Hopefully I can up my productivity and finish this darn novel by the end of May. At which point, I’ll let it sit for a few weeks so that I can draw up some book covers, and when the stewing period is over, I’ll start the second draft. Once that’s done, off to betas. Looks like this one will take a bit more time to finish than The Clockwork Giant, but looking back, I wish I’d taken more time to polish that first novel. It could use another edit—which I’ll probably do while The Chroniker Legacy is stewing.
I shouldn’t say it, but that’s the beauty of self-publishing. I can fix mistakes if I find them after publication. I was just in such a rush to get The Clockwork Giant out there that I inadvertently cut a few corners. Not going to make a habit of that. If I have to delay a release a month or more because the book just isn’t ready yet, so be it. I’ve learned my lesson. Impatience is a bad trait to have in publishing. Quote me on that.
No other news at the present.
How are your works-in-progress going?
Hope you’re all doing well, and I’ll see you Monday!