Spent 10 days thinking about how I wanted to split up Faerylander.
While I was going through this, I wasn't writing. At the same time, The Darkness You Fear came out.
I got steadily more discouraged.
Then yesterday, I finally sat down to do a rough version. I figured it would take 3 days for the first book and 3 days for the second book, after which I would take the month to actually rewrite the two books.
I have tons of good material to choose from. What I really need to figure out is tone and characterization, and then stick to them.
It ended up taking only 6 hours, and there it was; a viable version of book I, and a semi-viable version of book II. Book III of the Faery versus Cthulhu saga will have to be written almost completely out of whole cloth.
At the end of my walk, I was feeling unexpectedly chipper about it all, and I realized an essential truth again: When I'm writing, I'm not worried. I'm not stressed. I'm just enjoying myself. All the doubts fade away. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks because I'm down in the dirt digging and I'm doing the best I can.
Ironically, the first book very much resembles the original version, except much better written and completely thought out.
I wrote the first 2/3rds of this book several years ago and got stuck. Went on a trip with the sole intention of forcing an ending, and that's what I got: a "forced" ending. The last third of the book just seemed incredibly weak to me, and I didn't publish the book and went on to other things.
But I kept coming back.
I've mentioned that I have 35 versions; but really, there have been four different sessions where I tackled the book. This will be the fifth time.
Each time I did improve it, but I also complicated it. In order the strengthen the last 3rd of the book, I built a bigger infrastructure in the first 3rd of the book, and pretty much took out the middle 3rd of the book. This helped make the book more cohesive, but...well, it took a lot of the loose fun out. It made the book too complicated and dense and not in a good way.
The solution turned out to be unexpectedly easy.
I went back to the original beginning, brought back the original middle third, and pretty much skipped the last "weak" third and went straight for the original ending.
This retains more of the flavor I intended, and has a much cleaner storyline. I do feel like I might want a scene or two in the penultimate chapters to shore that section up slightly, but pretty much, it feels right.
For the second book, I took the overlay I used trying to re-enforce the plot as the 1st third, and I use that last "weak" 3rd. They fit together much more seamlessly. The weak becomes strong.
I'll have to write a middle third bringing in some of the characters from the first book, so that will be a bit of a challenge.
But even in a first draft form, without all the little additions, the new Faerylander comes out at 65K words, and Zombielander comes out at 52K words.
Most importantly, I feel that excitement I always feel when something is happening.
4 days ago