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Archive for June, 2008

Progress Report, in which I take a walk with my muse

Notched another 5100 words on Petra Released, making Magic Meter look like this:

So in last week’s exciting installment, I bemoaned the lack of cool discoveries and writerly moments over the course of the novel.  A day or two after writing those words, my muse showed up–at work, of all places.  I was on a walk over my lunch break when I suddenly I made . . . well, a cool discovery.  I figured out a key portion of the ending, and more important, discovered I had been setting it up all along.  I was so amazed and excited that I went back through the manuscript and found I’ve been planting the seeds for it, all unknowing, as early as chapter two.  I dropped another seed in chapter five.  And another in chapter ten.

Readers will no doubt assume that I set all this up deliberately.  I assure you, I did not.  I’ve just been building my wings on the way down.

And I’ll tell you something else–I’ve noticed I’ve been getting some of my best ideas on these lunchtime walks.  You can bet yer boots I’ll be walking again this week.  You never know when the muse will join you.

Much of the murk has been cleared away now.  I can’t say I have it all worked out–there’s another blank spot a few chapters ahead–but I think I have enough landmarks to find my way through.

It’s quite possible I’ll finish this thing sooner than expected.  My projected length of 100K is looking less and less likely.  I still think it will be longer than Petra, but not by much.

Write Club update:

Personalized rejection from <market name redacted for reasons I can’t explain right now>.

Onward . . .

Progress Report, in which I threaten my editor brain with violence

Another 5K on Petra Released.  Magic Meter says:

And now I must add chapter 12 to the list of chapters I know will need a lot of rework.  I figured out what I had done wrong–or more specifically, what I had left out–right as I finished it.  I wish I had thought of it sooner; it would have made for some wonderfully visceral and atmospheric stuff.  Now it has to wait for the rewrite.

You know, I’m making my word goals every week, despite my murky second act and despite often considerable scheduling obstacles.  I should feel good about that.  But it’s been a real grind, this novel, with very few of those cool discoveries and writerly moments that make it all worthwhile.  And my editor brain is assuring me that everything I’m writing lately is crap.  I swear, if I had a taser, old E.B. would be crispy as toast by now.

We all go through this, I know.  I’ve certainly been through it before.  It’s a necessary part of the process.  My man Neil Peart calls it “a willingness to risk defeat.”  And that’s cool, I suppose.  But I don’t want to be defeated.  I really want this book to work.  So I have no choice but to press on, and ignore my own naysaying.  And hope I can find the fixes somewhere in the next draft.

Write Club updates:

Five months to a personalized rejection from Polyphony 7, with an invitation to submit for the next anthology.

Thirteen weeks to a tier 2 reject from Weird Tales.

Pardon me while I look for a taser . . .

Today’s Must Read


‘s blog, The Fox News Guide to Terrorist Gang Signs.