Wednesday, June 21, 2017

I have so much unfinished work.

Recently I showed Dave Cline samples of something I wrote 30 years ago, "Sometimes a Dragon," then immediately followed it up with the first chapter of "Wyvern Riders." Here's what he said: " soon as you take the active voice -- your writing just sings. That first paragraph kicked ass. And indeed every one of the passages and interactions were dynamic and engaging. So, yeah, this writing -- in particular -- is truly rock solid, as compared to the "Sometimes a Dragon." There are hints of what the old writing would become and this is it."

That is almost exactly my own estimation. The unpublished works are just not up to current standards: and yet, they really aren't terrible either. So they keep being put on the backburner. Every time I look at them I make a few improvements with the idea that someday they'll finally round into shape.

In moving house, I finally found a box with "The Changelings of Ereland" in it. This was the fifth book I ever wrote. (The fourth, "Bloodstone," was hopelessly bad. Amazing how much I regressed from "Icetowers," which overall was the most solid of my early efforts.) I'll take a look at it sometime, see if there is anything there.

I have to admit, I'm feeling at loose ends right now. Not sure where to go. I'll probably try to finish "Wyvern Riders," but I want to have the right tone. The first two chapters are really good, and I think the third chapter has possibilities.

I need an overall threat, so that's something to think about. Some secret about Danton that Sharmilan hints at, somebody coming after them for reasons that aren't clear. Meanwhile, they go about their adventures, then tying it all together. I have the overall story arc figured out, but not the specifics.

Yesterday was a throwaway day. I'd had two nights of buzzed sleep, too much caffeine basically. I need to go back to my old rules of never drinking coffee after noon, and never soda after dinner. So I felt really shitty after two nights of hardly sleeping and having bad dreams. I didn't want to do anything. I didn't even go for my walk.

But I did read some long-form magazine articles on the Bundy ranch, found all kinds of wonderful details. I want to read some more articles on the Malhuer occupation. Slowly but surely I'm building up some research for my next big effort, "Takeover." This isn't natural for me at all, but I know that it will be incredibly beneficial when I actually start writing.

I've got two manuscripts with publishers that I'm pretty sure they'll want revisions on; and I have "Deadfall Ridge" being considered.

I'm not confident. I think it's a good book, but it falls just a little short somehow. I mean, I think it's ALMOST there and with a little professional help it could be, but whether big-time editors have time or interest in doing that, I don't know. I know that if it gets rejected I'll probably try to rewrite the beginning yet again, dropping the second chapter altogether, and cutting down the third chapter as much as possible, (maybe eliminating it too.) That will put a heavy information dump in the fourth chapter, so I'd have to be really severe in figuring out what could be dispensed with.

The book is ALMOST there. It's killing me.

1 comment:

Dave Cline said...

Here's a funny little video, a TEDx Kids video by a 13 year old author.

I don't know anybody, have never known anybody, who is as together at 13 as she. I'm glad I watched it (happenstance). Most things she says I've read about before, a few are fresh, but her presentation made sense.

I don't much care for the doubly painful rewrite approach, but I can see how it might work for some. I'd rather write the first draft with as much completeness and cohesion as possible; ergo, craft honing, research, and plot/character maturation -- before writing anything.

You mileage will vary.